LIVE BLOG: The Third Intifada - the uprising spreads

#ThirdIntifada

MEE brings you the latest from across Israel and Palestine

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Last update: 
December 14 Dec 2018 19:57 UTC
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Violence across Israel, the West Bank and Gaza is on the rise today, with several separate incidents already taking place.
 
The escalation comes after a deadly day in Gaza in which seven people were killed Friday and 60 others wounded by Israeli soldiers positioned at the security fence.
 
With tensions at fever pitch, many now believe we are seeing the start of a Third Intifada. 
 
Simona Sikimic in London, Jacob Powell in the US and Sheren Khalel in Ramallah contributed to this blog. If you have information that you think should feature in our coverage email [email protected] 

Recap of the day

  • An Israeli Arab stabbed and wounded four Jews after ramming his car into them near the northern kibbutz of Gan Shmuel on Sunday, police said

  • A Palestinian teenager was shot dead by Israeli forces during a clash at a checkpoint north of the West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday, the Palestinian health ministry said

  • Israel Police refused to release the body of a 19-year-old killed Palestinian for autopsy, right lawyers revealed today

  • Rights group Amnesty International said on Sunday that Israel was guilty of 'deliberately killing'  protesters amid a recent wave of violence

  • The representative body for the Arab community in Israel has called for a general strike by all businesses and educational institituions on Tuesday over what it describes as efforts by the Netanyahu government to separate Muslims from the al-Aqsa Mosque

  • The Palestinian Red Crescent has revealed that 332 Palestinians have been injured in clashes across the West Bank and East Jerusalem on Sunday. While 204 were hurt by tear gas, 51 were wounded by rubber-coated bullets and seven by live bullets - four were run over

  • The Israeli government has approved a bill developed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that sets mandatory minimum prison sentences for throwing rocks, firebombs and firecrackers. Minors, as well as their parents will be liable, under the new laws

Arab wounds 4 Jews in north Israel stabbing attack: police

An Israeli Arab stabbed and wounded four Jews after ramming his car into them near the northern kibbutz of Gan Shmuel on Sunday, police said.

Medics said a 19-year-old woman was left in serious condition, a girl of 14 was moderately wounded and two men aged 20 and 45 were lightly wounded. 

Police arrested the suspected assailant unharmed, and identified him as a 20-year-old Arab Israeli from a town in northern Israel.

Israeli forces kill Palestinian teen in West Bank clash: officials

A Palestinian teenager was shot dead by Israeli forces during a clash at a checkpoint north of the West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday, the Palestinian health ministry said.

It identified the fatality as 13-year-old Ahmad Sharake and said approximately 20 Palestinians were wounded by rubber bullets in the same clash near the Jewish settlement of Beit El.

Israel Police refused to release body of killed Palestinian

Israel Police refused to release the body of a 19-year-old killed Palestinian for autopsy, right lawyers revealed today, reported Haaretz.
 
The body of Fadi Alon, a Palestinian shot dead by police a week ago for alledgedly attempting to stab an Israel, was not released, despite demands by his family.
 
On Saturday, hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets of Issawyeh to participate in Fadi Alon's funeral.
 
 

Amnesty Intl: Israel is 'deliberately killing' protesters

Rights group Amnesty International said on Sunday that Israel was guilty of 'deliberately killing'  protesters amid a recent wave of violence.

Amnesty International told Al Jazeera on Sunday that some of the recorded incidents amounted to "extrajudicial killings".

The group also responded to an incident on Friday when Israeli soldiers shot dead a young Palestinian woman allegedly holding a knife, and when Palestinian teenager Fadi Alloun was shot and killed last week.

"There is no proof whatsoever that Israa was holding a knife. The same goes for Alloun. They did not appear to have posed enough threat to the soldiers to use deliberate lethal force [on them]," Amnesty's Farah told Al Jazeera.

 

Israeli Arabs to strike over al-Aqsa Mosque restrictions

The representative body for the Arab community in Israel has called for a general strike by all businesses and educational institituions on Tuesday over what it describes as efforts by the Netanyahu government to separate Muslims from the al-Aqsa Mosque, reports Israeli media.

The Times of Israel reported the development, writing that the decision to strike came at a meeting of the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel umbrella organization. The meeting, held in the Arab town of Kafr Qara in northern Israel, explored various forms of protest before calling the strike.

Lawmakers from the Joint List planned to visit the al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount on Wednesday, despite a blanket ban imposed last week by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on lawmakers’ visits to the compound due to the ongoing tensions.

 

Palestinian man rammed by settler's car dies

A Palestinian man has died of serious wounds he suffered Saturday after being rammed by an Israeli settler’s car, according to media reports.

The settler's car hit him at-Tour town, east of occupied Jerusalem, and the settler fled the scene, reports IMEMC.

The agency names the man as Ata an-Noury.

 

Observers report clashes in Tulkarem, the West Bank

Palestinians have Tweeted reports of clashes between youths and Israeli armed forces in Tulkarem in the West Bank, with at least 13 injured by live bullets during clashes near a university.

Palestinian Red Crescent: 332 Palestinians injured by gas, rubber bullets and retaliations on Sunday

The Palestinian Red Crescent has revealed that 332 Palestinians have been injured in clashes across the West Bank and East Jerusalem on Sunday. While the majority at 204 were hurt by tear gas,  51 were wounded by rubber-coated bullets and seven by live bullets - four were run over.

The PRC also stated on Sunday that it has documented 53 attacks against its teams and ambulances in which 37 emergency medical technicians (EMTs) were wounded and around 20 ambulances were damaged since the latest round of violence began on 3 October.

"These violations constitute a grave breach of IHL provisions which stipulate that National Societies, such as the Palestine Red Crescent, must be allowed to provide humanitarian services to those in need," the organisation wrote.

Israeli security forces: Woman detonated gas canister, not bomb

Israel's Shin Bet has said that a woman who detonated a device at a checkpoint earlier on Sunday actually used a gas canister, and not a bomb as was stated earlier.

A representative of the internal security force told the Associated Press that a police officer motioned for the woman to stop after noticing her trailing a police car. When the officer spoke to her, she said "God is greatest" before exploding the gas canister.

The forces added that the woman is a east Jerusalem resident who sometimes lived in the West Bank - she remains critically injured.

 

Clashes in Nablus at Hawara checkpoint

Dozens of injuries are being reported by Palestinian medical teams from live and rubber-coated bullet fire in violent clashes near Nablus.

The clashes come after Israeli soldiers attempted to hold back a demonstration that set out from a-Najah University in Nablus and walked toward the checkpoint.

In a tweet the Ma'an news agency also reported that one its cameraman, and 25 others, were hit with live fire during the clashes. 

 

Israel approves mandatory minimum sentences for stone-throwers

The Israeli government has approved a bill developed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that sets mandatory minimum prison sentences for throwing rocks, firebombs and firecrackers. Minors, as well as their parents will be liable, under the new laws, Haaretz reported. 
 


A masked Palestinian youth throws stones towards Israeli security forces during clashes at the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem on 18 September, 2015 (AFP)
 

Solidarity protest in Jordan

Al-Quds television is reporting Palestinian solidarity protests in Jordan. 

Netanyahu wants to see Haneen Zoabi probed for 'inciting violence'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked the attorney general to open a probe against MK Haneen Zoabi, from the Joint List for allegedly inciting violence.

Comments made to a Hamas newspaper, published over the weekend, in which Zoabi said that “hundreds of thousands of worshippers must ascent to al-Aqsa to stand against the Israeli plot to allow the blood of East Jerusalem residents to be spilled," were cited as evidence against her.

Legislators tried to ban her from standing for elections earlier this year, but the ruling was overturned by the country’s Supreme Court. 



Haneen Zoabi (AFP)

Protests reported near Nablus

Protests have been reported at the Huwara checkpoint near Nablus in the northern West Bank. 

 

HRW reveals that research assistant was injured by rubber bullets

An observer for Human Rights Watch was wounded by rubber bullets from Israeli security forces and possibly live fire at a demonstration on 6 October in the West Bank, the organisation said on Sunday.

The woman was at the protest outside Ramallah in the early hours of 6 October when two rubber-coated steel bullets hit her flak jacket, the US-based group said, without revealing her identity. A third bullet, apparently live, either grazed her hand or exploded nearby, sending shrapnel into her hand. 

Hamas warns Israel against 'foolishness' after deadly strike

Hamas has warned Israel against "foolishness" after an air strike hit the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire and killed a pregnant woman and her toddler.

"This shows the occupation's desire to escalate," said Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip. "We warn the occupation against continuing this foolishness."

Last summer, tensions between Hamas and Israel resulted in a bloody 50-day war on Gaza in which more than 2,200 Palestinians - mainly civilians - were killed. On the Israeli side 66 soldiers and six civilians were killed. 

 

Hollande: developments 'extremely worrying and dangerous'

France on Sunday warned that the escalation in violence was "extremely worrying and dangerous".

The office of President Francois Hollande said "everything must be done to calm the situation and end this cycle (of violence) which has already caused too many victims".

Palestinian woman detonates bomb at checkpoint, officer wounded

An Israeli police officer was wounded on Sunday morning after a female Palestinian driver detonated a bomb at a checkpoint between Jerusalem and the settlement of Maale Adumim. 
 
The female attacker has been badly wounded but is receiving medical attention, Times of Israel reported. 

 

Netanyahu facing mounting criticism

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing mounting domestic criticism over the crisis, with three quarters of Israelis saying in a recent poll conducted by Israel's Channel 2 that they were dissatisfied with his response to the violence. 

The survey also found that a full third of Israelis believed that more hard-right politicians, such as former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett, should be made responsible for responding to the attacks. 

Some 5,000 left wing protestors gathered outside Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem on Saturday evening, with people calling for him to step down. 



Israeli left wing activists take part in a protest outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem on October 10, 2015, calling him to resign (AFP)

 

Gaza relatives speak to MEE

Mohammed Hassan, a relative and neighbour of Yahya Hassan whose wife and three-year-old daughter were killed overnight told MEE that the family were farmers with no connection to politics. 

"We heard the terrible noise at around 1.30 in the morning. We all ran over to my cousin's house when we heard this. We found him dying and crying out. We live far from the city so it took a long time for the ambulances to reach us," he said. 

"The Israelis target civilians in their homes. What else can I say about the occupation. This family was just sleeping [when they were killed.]"



Father mourns his 3-year-old daughter killed in an Israeli airstrike (AFP)

 

Woman and 3-year-old child killed by Israeli strikes in Gaza

A pregnant Palestinian mother and her toddler daughter were killed when an Israeli retaliatory air strike demolished their home in the northern Gaza Strip, medical sources said early on Sunday.

The fatalities were identified as Nur Hassan, 30, and her daughter Rahaf Hassan, aged three. Medics said three others were still trapped under the home's ruins in the Zeitun sector south of Gaza City. The father and two-year-old son were injured in the attack, Palestinian sources said. 

Israel said it had targeted "two Hamas weapon manufacturing facilities" in response to two rocket launches at Israel on Saturday, as well as a number of attempts by Palestinians to violently break into Israel from Gaza.

 

Day 2

A recap of yesterday's events: 

  • Several Israeli's including two policemen were stabbed by Israeli attackers 
  • More than 400 Palestinians were injured in clashes with police 
  • Two Palestinian attackers and two demonstrators were killed in the West Bank and East Jerusalem 
  • Israeli rockets hit Gaza in retaliation for rockets fired into Israel on Saturday morning 

Israeli opposition parties call for Netanyahu's resignation

Several Israeli opposition parties have called for Netanyahu's resignation following the wave of violence that has gripped Israel and Palestine.

The secular party Meretz called for Netanyahu’s resignation on Saturday night during a protest in front of his official residence in Jerusalem.

Party chairwoman Zehava Gal-On urged the prime minister to negotiate with the Palestinians instead of “managing the conflict”.

“Whoever doesn’t recognize this threat and continues to play the victim, finding excuses for refusing [to negotiate] and blabbering about Iran, and bribing his friends with natural gas or a casino in Eilat, is a failed prime minister who is not worthy of being prime minister and has to go home,” she said at a Meretz demonstration near the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem.

“The whole country is on fire, and instead of voicing hope and calm, what we hear are messages of hatred, incitement and racism from rabbis, from organizations that already committed hate crimes in the past and from right-wing politicians,” she added.

Kinesset member (MK) Yoel Hasson of the Zionist Union, a former Likud activist and aide to Likud MKs, said that many leaders who sat in the building outside which he was demonstrating knew how to fight terrorism, but not Netanyahu.

"For six years, Netanyahu has been prime minister and didn't do anything to create a diplomatic horizon. For six years he abandoned the Palestinian arena and the result is dozens of terrorist attacks in recent days. Netanyahu is not using a strong enough hand against terrorism and isn't presenting a diplomatic horizon. Today, the nation knows Netanyahu is not a leader," Hasson stated.

MK Eitan Broshi, also of the Zionist Union, however, said he supports the prime minister, defense minister and public security minister in their fight against terrorism.

Israel taps into reserve police forces

Translated from Channel 2, an Israeli broadcast network, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan approved the placement of hundreds of reserve army units - numbering hundreds of security personnel - in Jerusalem.

Dozens of Gazans break through Israeli security fence

According to Haaretz, dozens of Palestinians managed to break through the security fence along the southern Gaza Strip. Israeli forces arrested five people and turned the rest back into the Strip.

Jerusalem police vow tough response

Jerusalem District Police Chief Moshe Adri tells reporters:

"Our policemen are doing the job in the best way, they treat quickly to the events, in less than 1.5 minute the terorist is killed. As we expect from the police force, any one who stabs a Jew or an innocent person we want to kill [and] neutralise him."

Footage shows photojournalist being beaten up

Earlier today MEE contributor Faiz Abu Rmeleh was roughed up by Israeli police for taking photos in East Jerusalem.  


This footage of the incident was taken by his colleague Samer Malamy. 

 

Jewish youths assault a Jewish Israeli in Jerusalem

At the same time, Jewish youths assaulted an Israeli Jewish man in Jerusalem, mistaking him for an Arab, Haaretz reported. Police are searching for the assailants. 

Israeli soldier shot

According to Palestine Television an Israeli soldier has been shot and injured with a live bullet in Arrub refugee camp in the southern West Bank, near Hebron.



Palestinian protesters run amid tear gas smoke during clashes with Israeli security forces in Beit El (AFP)