Israeli security officials expressed concern on Wednesday regarding the potential for incitement of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s speech at the U.N., scheduled just two or three speakers before Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
The effects of the speech, they say, will already be noticeable on the ground in Israel within hours of the remarks, which are expected to be inflammatory.
It was almost exactly a year ago that the Palestinian leader’s address to the U.N. General Assembly touched off months of terror attacks, which have waned but not entirely stopped, and have seen an uptick in recent days.
At the same time, they are concerned that the wounding by civilian security forces of a 13-year-old Palestinian girl on Wednesday after she refused to answer a call to halt (in Arabic) could also be a catalyst for more violence. The incident occurred at the checkpoint of a crossing for workers and trucks between Yehudah and Shomron and Israel proper. When the girl, who was carrying a bag, did not stop, they fired and wounded her lightly in the leg.
However, a search of her belongings turned up no weapons, only schoolbooks. During questioning afterwards, the girl said that she had “come to die” because of her parents’ desperate financial situation.
Security sources said that the incident has already sparked anger in the Palestinian street. According to an initial investigation, though, the guards at the crossing were found to have acted in accordance with established protocol.
Even after a warning shot was fired over her head, the girl did not stop for a security check. Instead, she reached into her bag, which the guards suspected contained a knife or explosive device, and they responded with a second shot to the legs.
It was the latest in a series of incidents since last week. On Tuesday, IDF soldiers shot dead a terrorist at the entrance to the village of Bani Na’im in the Chevron area. The terrorist was shot when he pulled out a knife after being asked for identification papers by soldiers. No Israelis were injured in the incident.
These were only the headlined stories. Meanwhile, “minor” incidents involving rock throwing continued, though with minimal coverage, if any, as b’chasdei Shamayim, no serious injuries or damage were reported.
In addition, IDF soldiers overnight Tuesday continued their raids of weapons caches and factories, this time focusing on the village of Jabel Juhar, outside Chevron. There, soldiers found hand guns, components for the assembly of M16 rifles, ammunition, commando knives and more. Several suspects were arrested and the cache confiscated.