Three Palestinians killed, Four Israelis wounded in latest violence [Excerpts]
A wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence showed no signs of abating Sunday, as three Palestinians, including a 2-year-old and a 13-year-old, were killed by Israeli forces, and four Israelis were wounded in an evening stabbing attack.
The attacks have been primarily stabbings and shootings, but a Palestinian woman seriously injured herself when she detonated a gas canister on Sunday. The attack, which lightly wounded a police officer, was the first in the current round of violence to involve such an explosive device.
The unrest erupted last month around the Jewish New Year, with clashes beginning at a contested holy site in Jerusalem and quickly spreading to other parts of the city, across Israel and into the West Bank and Gaza Strip. At least 24 Palestinians, including eight attackers, have been killed by Israeli forces, while five Israelis have been killed in attacks.
With random stabbings happening each day, the violence has Israelis on edge. Officials have called on citizens to carry guns in public for self-defense, and store owners say sales of guns and pepper spray are soaring.
"I think everyone should come and get a gun license," said Idan Albilia, a Jerusalem resident who was at a gun shop purchasing his first weapon. "We need to defend ourselves. I think this is the only thing that will help us in this situation."
Police are on high alert in all major cities across Israel, and an Israeli ambulance drove through central Jerusalem Sunday night and announced an emergency blood drive over a loudspeaker.
Addressing his Cabinet Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the country was battling a "wave of terror" fueled by "systematic, untrue incitement" by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the Islamic Movement in Israel.
[President Mamoud] Abbas, meanwhile, faces his own domestic troubles. Following last year's collapse of peace talks, and with little hope for the future, the Palestinian public has grown deeply unhappy with Abbas. Although Abbas has been a critic of violence, opposing the public demonstrations against Israel could deepen his unpopularity.