Israeli forces shot dead three Palestinians on Monday following a spate of alleged knife attacks against Israelis, as mounting tensions, protests and clashes continued throughout Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.
A Palestinian man was shot dead Monday night after allegedly stabbing an Israeli soldier on a bus entering Jerusalem, Israeli police said. The soldier was lightly injured.
Earlier in the day, cousins Ahmed Manasra, 13, and Hassan Manasra, 15, were shot, the latter dying as a result, after allegedly stabbing and injuring a 24-year-old Israeli man and critically wounding an Israeli boy in the settlement of Pisgat Zeev, police said.
In a separate incident, a Palestinian woman allegedly carried out a knife attack against a paramilitary border policeman in central Jerusalem. She was shot and wounded.
Four Israelis and 27 Palestinians, including seven alleged assailants and eight children, have died in 12 days of bloodshed, stirred in part by Muslim anger over increasing Jewish visits to Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem. At least 1,400 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been injured in the same period.
Violence has spread from Jerusalem and the Israeli-occupied West Bank to Israel and Hamas-ruled Gaza. On Sunday an Israeli citizen of Palestinian origin allegedly stabbed and wounded four people near a bus stop in the north of the country. He was overpowered and arrested.
An Israeli airstrike in retaliation for two rockets fired at Israel demolished a house in northern Gaza, killing a pregnant woman and her 2-year-old daughter, on Sunday. Israel said the airstrike targeted two Hamas arms workshops.
The recent surge in violence was sparked by increased restrictions on Palestinian access to Al-Aqsa and Palestinians throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails in protest. Located in Jerusalem’s walled Old City, the mosque is Islam's third-holiest site and is also revered by Jews as the site of two destroyed biblical temples.
Israel has said it has no intention of allowing any change to the status quo at the compound, which Jews are allowed to visit but where non-Muslim prayer is banned. However, Palestinians fear Israel is strengthening its hold on occupied East Jerusalem and the holy sanctuary.
Palestinian citizens of Israel, who have also been protesting Israel’s heavy-handed response to protesters in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, announced a general strike and more protests on Monday. The Union of Parents in East Jerusalem announced that on Oct. 13 members would also refrain from sending their children to school to commemorate pupils killed in the violence.
On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to open a criminal investigation into Knesset member Hanin Zoabi of the Arab Joint List, an electoral coalition of Palestinian-majority parties, after she called for a "popular intifada."
Al Jazeera and wire services
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Israeli police shot and killed Ahmed Manasra, 13. While he was shot, he did not succumb from his injury and is currently recovering in an Israeli hospital.