- 12 Palestinians killed in past 24 hours, 6 Israelis injured
- Netanyahu Speaks With Kerry, Blames Abbas for Inciting Attacks
Israeli security forces shot and killed five Palestinians as Israel struggled to suppress a surge of shooting and stabbing attacks throughout the country and violence spilled over to the Gaza Strip.
Saturday’s toll brings the number of Palestinians killed in the past 24 hours to 12, according to Palestinian medics. Three Palestinians were shot as they attacked Israelis, and two were killed during demonstrations in Gaza. Six Israelis were wounded, two of them border police injured when colleagues opened fire to stop a stabbing.
Israeli and Palestinian leaders are blaming each other for the bloodshed and tensions that started over a Jerusalem shrine holy to Jews and Muslims. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered new security measures to stem assaults, including easing open-fire orders for troops and expediting the demolition of homes of Palestinians convicted of attacks.
Netanyahu spoke with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday about the deteriorating security situation “and made it clear that he expects the Palestinian Authority to stop its wild and mendacious incitement,” the prime minister’s office said in an e-mailed statement.
Several demonstrations erupted Saturday in Arab communities across Israel, including the cities of Nazareth and Ramla, police said. Netanyahu ordered the mobilization of three reserve police units to Jerusalem to boost security in the capital, according to his office.
Earlier on Saturday, a rocket was launched at Israel from Gaza, but no injuries were reported. Batteries of Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile defense system were deployed in the country’s south to contend with the threat of more rocket fire, Channel Two television reported.
On Friday, the Palestinian Authority urged the United Nations to take action to defuse the situation.