Arabs and Jewish Israelis were stabbed in separate assaults on Friday, as a surge in violence continued to spread beyond a Jerusalem flashpoint.
A Jewish suspect was arrested in the stabbing attack of four Arabs in the southern town of Dimona. Police said the incident was “nationalistic” and carried out by a man known to them. The victims received light to moderate injuries.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the Dimona stabbings. “Those who use violence and break the law -- from whatever side -- will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law," he said in a statement.
The attack followed a series of assaults on Jewish Israelis by Palestinian Arabs this month, including a shooting in which a couple died. In the latest incidents on Friday, a Jewish teenager was lightly wounded after being stabbed in Jerusalem, while in a Jewish town near the West Bank city of Hebron a police officer was hurt.
Israeli and Palestinian leaders have blamed each other for the upsurge in tension, much of it stemming from disagreement over a Jerusalem shrine, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and as the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims.
Netanyahu, who accuses Palestinian leaders of inciting the violence, has ordered new security measures to stem the assaults, including easing open-fire orders for Israeli troops and expediting the demolition of homes of Palestinians convicted of attacks.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Oct. 6 that Palestinians are seeking to avoid an escalation of violence. He called on Israel to halt construction in settlements, release Palestinian prisoners, and return to negotiations that have been stalled for more than a year.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Uri Ariel, a member of the Jewish Home party, said in a Facebook post that if the stabbings in Dimona were a revenge attack, recent violence “doesn’t justify these type of actions.”