Palestinian Arab assailants on Thursday hurled firebombs at an Israel Police vehicle in eastern Jerusalem. The occupants of the vehicle were able to escape as it went up in flames, but suffered smoke inhalation.
A day earlier, a knife-wielding terrorist stabbed and wounded an Israeli police officer near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate. He tried to stab several other Israelis before being overpowered and arrested.
The attacker had previously murdered Israeli Jewish historian Menachem Stern in 1989. In 2013, the stabber, a 56-year-old resident of Hebron, was set free as part of a highly controversial prisoner release corresponding to US-brokered peace negotiations.
These are only the latest attacks in what authorities have identified as a major increase in violent incidents in the Israeli capital. Over the past two months, Jerusalem has experienced no fewer than 580 reported attacks on civilians and security forces. Some 477 of those were cases of stone-throwing at Jewish motorists, while 28 were arson attacks against Jewish homes and vehicles. Jewish cemeteries were also repeatedly desecrated.
These are separate from the even more numerous violent incidents in the outlying Palestinian suburbs of Shuafat, Beit Hanina, Isawiya and Jabel Mukaber.
Aryeh King, a right-wing member of Jerusalem’s City Council, accused the government of tying the hands of the security forces in dealing with this phenomenon for fear of a political backlash.
Despairing of any serious response by the political echelon, those Jewish citizens suffering from this wave of violence have launched an initiative known as “Anti-Terror TV.” Those involved have determined to document on video every possibly attack in order to draw attention to the worsening situation.