In Israel everything came together this weekend. sadness, anger, horror. Doubt and determination were also felt after violence and counter-violence erupted. Conflicts that had been intensifying for a long time continued to escalate and influenced one another. Everything got mixed up in the political arena: domestic controversies, the fight against terrorism, the occupation and the conflict with the Palestinians.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has led a coalition shaped by religious fundamentalists and right-wing extremists for around four weeks, reacted to the weekend’s terrorist attacks by announcing that settlement construction would be stepped up. His “national security” minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, wants to demolish Palestinian houses in East Jerusalem and allow more Israeli civilians to bear arms. He and Justice Minister Jariv Levin also took the opportunity to portray Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara as a security risk; the same Attorney General who has criticized the government’s plans for judicial reform.
Meanwhile, the tens of thousands of protesters who took to the streets again in Tel Aviv and other cities against the judiciary reform struggled to maintain the momentum they had built up over several weeks. But even they couldn’t completely ignore the change in mood this weekend after a Palestinian shot dead seven Israelis in east Jerusalem on Friday evening.
And while all this was happening, reports of new acts of violence kept coming. As the country was still recovering from the shock of Friday’s terrorist attack, a 13-year-old Palestinian fired a pistol at passers-by in East Jerusalem on Saturday morning. He injured a 47-year-old man and his 23-year-old son before being shot by passers-by. On Saturday night, during anti-government demonstrations, an attacker fired at a settler-run restaurant near Jericho in the West Bank. A few hours later, an armed Palestinian who had approached the settlement of Kedumin west of Nablus was shot dead. On Sunday morning, two gunmen attempted to cross the border from Syria to Israel in the Golan Heights. Soldiers shot one of them.
Israeli journalists are also attacked
There were also attacks from the Israeli side. According to media reports, settlers attacked shops south of Nablus and set cars on fire or damaged them. In the town of Turmusaya near Ramallah there was an arson attack on a house, in East Jerusalem there were attacks by settlers on Palestinians and clashes between Palestinians and security forces.