Dramatic Rise in Palestinian Violence in Yerushalayim

YERUSHALAYIM -

The incidence of terrorist attacks and rioting in Yerushalayim and its environs has risen almost 800 percent over the past three months alone, according to the General Security Services.

The GSS cited the light rail as a prime example. During this period, the light rail has been the target of some 100 attacks, including rock throwing, burning of stations and even sabotage of the tracks. By comparison, during the same period last year there were only nine such incidents.

A third of the rail cars that were attacked were put out of service and required extensive repairs.

Security officials are concerned by the dramatic increase in shootings, firebombings, rioting, and in particular the brazenness with which Palestinian youths have been confronting police and security forces in the streets. They note that the character of violence has intensified, marked by more gunfire and firebombings, as opposed to rock throwing.

Still, the authorities have refrained from calling the disturbances a “new intifada.” They attribute them instead to a reaction to Operation Protective Edge and the aggressive sweeps of Hamas strongholds in Yehudah and Shomron in recent weeks.

The hope is that as those events recede into the past, the violence will also die down.