Israeli–Palestinian conflict (2015–present)

Israeli–Palestinian conflict (2015–present)
Part of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict

Near Beit El on 10 October 2015
DateMain phase: 13 September 2015 – January 2016
Violence continues in 2016 with steady decline
LocationIsrael, Palestinian Territories


Casualties and losses

38 killed:

  • 31 civilians
  • 5 security personal
  • 2 killed by friendly fire
558 wounded (civilians and security forces)[5]

235 killed:

  • 10 civilians
  • 101 attackers
  • 62 alleged attackers
  • 62 rioters[6]

3,917 injured
11,611 suffered from smoke inhalation[7]

7,955 detained[8]
3 foreign civilians (2 U.S., 1 Eritrean) killed[9] and 2 (1 U.S., 1 Nepalese) wounded[10]

    An increase of violence occurred in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict starting early September 2015, known as the "Wave of Terror"[5][11][12] or "Intifada of the Individuals"[13][14][15][16] by Israelis or the "Knife Intifada" or "Stabbing Intifada"[17] by international media, or "Habba" (an outburst) by Palestinian,[18] related in part to tensions between Palestinians and Israelis regarding the status of the Temple Mount. A major escalation occurred on 1 October 2015 with the killing of Eitam and Na'ama Henkin[19][20] by Hamas militants near Beit Furik on 1 October, followed by a wave of "lone wolf" attacks and widespread protests by Palestinians.[21][22] Some Palestinians attribute the beginning of violence to the killing of Palestinian woman Hadeel al-Hashlamoun by Israeli soldiers on 22 September, or the Duma arson attack by Israeli settlers in July 2015, which caused the death of three Palestinians.[23] In January, the Shin Bet have recorded only 169 incidents, the lowest since July 2015, leading to claims that the escalation had finished,[24] but attacks and protests have continued.

    According to Shin Bet, between 1 October 2015 and 1 October 2016 there was a total of 166 stabbing attacks and 89 attempted stabbings; 108 shootings; 47 vehicular (ramming) attacks; and one vehicle bus bombing.[5] As of the last week of 2015, Israel has deployed 91 new obstacles (checkpoints, roadblocks in the West Bank, limiting Palestinian movement in order to prevent attacks. More than half of the obstacles were placed in the area around Hebron. The movement restrictions were eased slightly in January 2016.[25]

    Some commentators have attributed the increase in Palestinian violence against Israelis either to a viral social-media campaign that may have influenced and motivated the Palestinian attackers,[26][27] or ongoing frustration over the failure of peace talks to end the decades-long occupation and the suppression of human rights.[28][29] Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been accused of incitement to violence.[30]


    Opinions within Israel differ as to the reasons for the cycle of violence. Several generals Israeli Defense Forces have gone on public record as stating that to a notable degree Palestinian violence is impelled due to anger at and revenge for Israeli actions and that frustrations over the stagnation of diplomatic initiatives also contribute.[31] A report by Israeli intelligence services states that the unrest is motivated by Palestinian "feelings of national, economic and personal deprivation."[32] Some also pointed out to the increasing incitement and involvement of the Islamic State group in regard to Palestinian youth,[33] with Islamic State cell members arrested in the West Bank already in January 2015.[34]

    On 31 July 2015, two family homes in Duma, a Palestinian village in the West Bank, were firebombed by masked attackers. 18-month-old Ali Sa'ad Dawabsheh was burnt to death; his parents and 4-year-old brother were critically injured and rushed to Israeli hospitals, where the father died of his burns several days later.[35][36][37] Five weeks later, the mother, Reham Dawabsheh, died of her injuries.[38] Israeli police initially suspected that the arson was a price tag attack by "extremist Israeli settlers"; some speculated that it might have been undertaken in retaliation for the demolition by the IDF of Jewish settlement structures in Beit El, 'the flagship of the ideological settler movement,'[39] some time earlier.[40] Palestinians responded to the arson with large protests that resulted in violent confrontation with the Israeli forces.[41][42][43]

    On 9 September 2015, Israel outlawed two grassroots Palestinian Islamist groups, "Mourabitoon" and "Mourabitaat", involved in aggressive protests at Temple Mount against visits by Jewish groups such as The Temple Mount Faithfuls and The Temple Institute.[44][45] Israeli police enforce exclusively Muslim prayer at the site in line with halakhic prohibition, and visits to the site by Jewish campaigners have led to clashes with Mourabitoon and Mourabitaat activists. Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, who signed the ban, said in a statement that the Mourabitoon and Mourabitaat are a "main cause in the creation of tension and violence on the Temple Mount (al Aqsa compound) specifically and Jerusalem in general". The Palestinian Authority opposed this ban and signaled support for the activists.

    According to The Guardian, many analysts regard the issue of access to what is known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif or the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount as key to the recent increase in tension. A campaign by some fundamentalist Jews and their supporters, with the backing of some members of the Israeli cabinet, demanding greater rights for Jewish worship at the site has raised the suspicion, despite repeated Israeli denials, that Israel intends to change the 'precarious status quo' at the site.[46][47]


    Since the eve of Rosh Hashanah, 36 Israelis, as well as two Americans and an Eritrean were killed in Palestinian attacks,[5] while 222 Palestinians have been killed[48][49] (all but one by Israeli security forces),[5] of which 140 were identified by Israel as assailants.[50] Additionally, a Sudanese attacker was killed.[51] The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) recorded 167 'terrorist' attacks by Palestinians against Israeli civilians and security forces.[5] The Eritrean was shot and lynched after being mistakenly identified as an attacker during the Beersheva bus station shooting and died later.[52] The number of rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip increased.[53] Palestinian attacks occurred predominantly in areas of the West Bank including Jerusalem and the West Bank, but also in cities within Israel, such as Tel Aviv and Beersheba. These near-daily attacks constituted primarily stone throwing and knife stabbings, hence the name "Knife Intifada" for the wave of attacks. Other attacks included shootings and vehicle rammings.

    September - Events leading to the escalation

    On 13 September, on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year's Eve, Israeli police raided the plaza outside al-Aqsa Mosque, with witnesses reporting that the police used rubber coated bullets and tear gas, and chained the doors of the mosque shut.[54] Police used tear gas and threw stun grenades toward Palestinian youths who barricaded themselves inside the mosque and hurled rocks and flares, a Reuters witness said. Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, in a statement, said the Palestinians also had pipe bombs.[55][56] On the same day, Alexander Levlovich (64) lost control of his vehicle after Palestinian youths threw stones at his vehicle and he struck a pole. He was evacuated to hospital in serious condition, apparently also with a heart attack and died later. Two other passengers were lightly injured.

    On 16 September, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared his support for Palestinian youths injured in clashes on the Temple Mount, stating: ""Every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem is pure, every shahid [martyr] will reach paradise, and every injured person will be rewarded by God.""[57][58] This led United States' Secretary of State John Kerry to accuse Abbas of inciting violence.[30]

    On 22 September, a Palestinian woman called Hadeel al-Hashlamon was killed at a checkpoint in the West Bank city of Hebron while on her way to school.[59] The official account of the Israeli Army was that al-Hashlamon had a knife and was shot whilst attempting to stab a soldier. However, eyewitness reports were conflicted as to whether or not she held a knife; the Army has refused to release video recordings of the shooting.[60] In the following weeks, Hebron became a centre of violent incidents and protests.[61] There have been allegations that the shooting constituted an extrajudicial killing - see below.

    On 24 September the Security Cabinet of Israel approved new laws regarding violent rioters. Netanyahu claimed that "The Security Cabinet unanimously adopted a series of measures within the framework of our fight against stone throwers, petrol bombs and flares". One modified order allows security forces to shoot when the life of a third party is under threat. Until the change, Israeli soldiers facing violent Palestinian protests could open fire with live bullets only if their own life was in danger. The cabinet ordered a minimum four-year jail term for anybody throwing dangerous objects as a temporary measure to be in effect for three years. This did not require Parliament's approval.[62]

    Escalation and further events

    October 2015

    During October IDF recorded 75 terror attacks against Israelis, 43 in the West Bank, 22 in municipal Jerusalem and 10 within the Green Line. 55 of the attacks were or included the usage of melee weapons. In addition, there were 817 violent protests, 851 stone-throwing and 337 Petrol bomb throwing incidents. The number of stone throwing incidents may be higher since a large portion of stone throwing incidents are not reported at all.[63]

    In addition, at least 68 (50 in the West Bank, 17 in Gaza Strip, 1 in Israel) Palestinians and 10 Israelis were killed. 43 Palestinians were identified by IDF as assailants. In the same month, according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society, Israeli operations aimed at suppressing or dispersing demonstrations and protests in many of which stones, rocks and Molotov cocktails are thrown injured an estimated 8,262 Palestinians, 2,617 by gun wounds, 760 by live fire, 1,857 by rubber-coated steel bullets.[64] Palestinian organizations also reported another four who were killed by Israeli forces, a baby from tear gas inhalation, and three adults who died while waiting in a checkpoint. These four deaths were not confirmed by IDF.[63]

    On 1 October, five men, part of a Hamas cell in the West Bank, ambushed a civil vehicle in a road between Itamar and Elon Moreh, and killed Eitam and Naama Henkin, two settlers from the West Bank. Their four kids who were in the back were left unhurt. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the attack was a "result of Palestinian incitement" that led "to an act of terror and murder." He added: "This is a difficult day for Israel." Netanyahu also criticized Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and said he "did not hear a condemnation from the Palestinian Authority," The Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, Fatah's military arm, said it welcomes the attack, "which constitutes a worthy response to the crimes of the occupation and the killing of the Dawabsheh family." Following the attack, local settlers assaulted with stones Palestinian cars and an ambulance and threw stones at Palestinian homes in the southern part of the village of Burin, which is close to the Yitzhar settlement. A 28-year-old woman was lightly wounded by stones hurled toward her at Itzhar Junction and a Palestinian driver was lightly hurt in a similar incident at the entrance to Nablus.[65][66][67]

    UN OCHA map of East Jerusalem showing movement restrictions by Israel in October 2015

    Throughout October, 817 violent demonstrations were recorded as well as 851 stone throwing and 377 molotov cocktail incidents[84] in which one Israeli was killed.[85]

    November 2015

    December 2015

    January 2016

    February 2016

    Israeli police on patrol in Jerusalem's Old City, February 2016

    March 2016

    Between 8–9 March there were six Palestinian attacks against Israelis inside the Green Line and East Jerusalem. In these attacks 1 civilian was killed while 6 perpetraters were shot dead by security forces. A total of 15 were injured.[111] These include:

    On 8 March, an American MBA student on a study trip to Israel was killed, and 10 other people injured (including the pregnant wife of the American MBA student) when a 22 year old Palestinian from the village of Kalandiya went on a stabbing spree in the port city of Jaffa. Four of the injured were reported as serious.[112][113] That same day two Israeli police officers were wounded by an Arab gunman outside the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem and an Israeli man was moderately wounded in a stabbing attack in Petah Tikva. The victim managed to remove the knife from his neck and stabbed the assailant to death.[113] On 9 March, a 50 year old Palestinian man from Beit Hanina injured in his vehicle near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem when two Palestinian assailants from Kafr Aqab shot at him. Police shot and killed the two assailants.[114]

    Throughout March 2016, 1 American citizen was killed and 26 Israelis were injured. The Shin Bet recorded 4 attacks from the Gaza Strip: 2 rocket shooting (a total of 5 rockets were shot); 2 small arms shootings, 117 attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem: 6 shootings (2 in Jerusalem); 9 I.E.D; 6 stabbings (1 in Jerusalem); 2 vehicular; 1 attempted attack and 92 firebomb (33 in Jerusalem) attacks.[115]

    Between 23 February and 4 April, 22 Palestinians were killed (2 in the Gaza Strip) while 518 were injured.[116]

    Escalation in June and July 2016

    On 8 June 2016, two Palestinian gunmen opened fire at a Max Brenner Cafe in the Sarona Market, killing four people and injuring seven others. Both of the attackers, cousins from the Palestinian city of Yatta, south of Hebron claimed in investigation that they were inspired by the Islamic State and Hamas.[117] Israeli government response was to suspend 83,000 Palestinian entry permits to visit families in Israel for the Ramadan were suspended following the attack,[118] a move that was described as "collective punishment" by Knesset member Haneen Zoabi and U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.[119][120] The IDF imposed a closure over the entire West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the wake of the attack, which was scheduled to end on 11 June after the end of Jewish holiday of Shavuot[121] Palestinian Media, Hamas and PIJ celebrated the attack.[122][123][124]

    On 30 June a 17-year-old Palestinian stabbed and killed Hallel Yaffa Ariel while she was sleeping in her bedroom in the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba. The assailant was fatally shot by security guards. That same day, a Palestinian assailant stabbed two Israeli civilians in Natanya, north of Tel Aviv and was shot dead by an armed civilian. On 1 July Palestinian gunmen fired at an Israeli family vehicle south to Hebron causing it to flip over. The father of the family died while his wife and two daughters were injured.[125][126][127][128] PIJ said in a statement that: "the escalation in attacks against settlers reflects the persistence of the Palestinian intifada to continue"[129]

    Throughout June 2016, 5 Israelis and 6 Palestinians were killed, while 21–30 Israelis and 167 Palestinians were wounded. The Shin Bet recorded 1 attack from the Gaza Strip (small arms shooting), 100 attacks from the West Bank and East Jerusalem: 10 I.E.D (Pipe bombs and an improvised grenade); 2 small armes shooting; 1 stabbing; 1 vehicular and 86 firebomb (29 in Jeruslaem) attacks, and 2 attacks inside the Green Line (in Tel Aviv and Natanya). 1 Jewish attack was recorded: Two vehicles were set on fire and three were sprayed with anti-Arab hate speech in Nazareth and Yafa an-Naseriyye (in northern Israel).[130][131]

    Claims of extrajudicial killings and use of excessive force by Israeli security personnel

    Human rights organisations such as B'Tselem and Amnesty International, and Palestinian leaders including Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, have alleged that the shooting of a number of alleged assailants constitutes extrajudicial killing.[132][133][134]

    On 22 September, Palestinain woman Hadeel al-Hashlamon was killed at a checkpoint in the West Bank city of Hebron while on her way to school.[59] The official account of the Israeli Defense Forces was that al-Hashlamon had a knife and was shot whilst attempting to stab a soldier. However, eyewitness reports were conflicted as to whether or not she held a knife; the Army has refused to release video recordings of the shooting.[60] Amnesty International published a report stating that evidence showed the shooting of al-Hashlamon was an extrajudicial killing.[135] Around a month after the beginning of the October escalation, the IDF released a report, saying the operating soldiers could have neutralized Hadeel without killing her but the army decided not to charge the soldiers. According to some Palestinians, this incident marks the start of the escalation in violence.[136]

    In a B'Tselem report from 16 December 2015, the human rights' organization listed twelve incidents in which Israeli soldiers and other security forces allegedly used excessive force against Palestinians, by shooting the assailants or suspected assailants even after they no longer posed any danger.[137] B'Tselem has accused Prime Minister Netanyahu of overseeing a "new pseudo-normative reality" in which a "shoot to kill" approach should always be adopted by police officers or armed civilians regarding suspected Palestinian assailants.[138]

    In February 2016, Defence for Children International accused the Israeli army of the intentional killing of Palestinian children in the West Bank. It said that the army has killed more than 180 Palestinians since the escalation in October 2015, including 49 children. It said: “Repeated killing and shooting of children by Israeli army, and preventing paramedics from offering medical aid to them is considered a form of extrajudicial killing”.[139]

    In a poll done by the Israel Democracy Institute, a majority of Jewish Israelis (53%) said they agreed with the statement that "any Palestinian who has perpetrated a terror attack against Jews should be killed on the spot."[140][141]

    Hebron shooting incident

    On 24 March 2016, two Palestinian assailants stabbed an Israeli soldier and moderately wounded him in Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron. Both assailants were shot by Israeli soldiers.[142] One of the assailants died and the other, Abed al Fatah a-Sharif, remained badly wounded. A video published by B'tselem showing an IDF medic aiming weapon at motionless a-Sharif lying on the ground, and shooting him in the head[143] went viral on Israeli social media, sparking controversy. The video prompted the IDF to launch an investigation into what it said was “a very grave” incident. The soldier was initially treated as a murder suspect,[144] but on 31 March prosecutors told a court they were looking into manslaughter charges.[145] The initial investigation found that the shooting occurred three minutes after IDF soldiers shot and neutralized the knife-wielding assailants and pathologists ruled that his shot was responsible for the assailant's death and not his previous wounds.[143] The soldier’s attorney has claimed he feared the assailant had an explosive vest hidden under his shirt and could have used it to kill the people surrounding him but IDF officials rejected the claim saying the assailants had already been checked for explosives, and the soldier did not follow the procedures for such concerns before opening fire. The soldier also claimed several times during the investigation that the assailant tried to reach for a knife that was 'within reach' of him, while the documentation in the video presents a different situation, in which the knife was a significant distance away from the assailant, who was in serious condition as it is." The soldier’s shooting drew widespread condemnation, including from Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called it a violation of the army’s ethical code. Ya'alon said "The incident is highly severe, and completely contrary to the IDF's values and its combat morals. We must not allow, even as our blood boils, such a loss of faculties and control. This incident will be dealt with in the strictest manner." IDF Spokesperson Brigadier General Moti Almoz said it was "a very severe incident. This is not the IDF culture or the Jewish people's culture." The controversy turned into a bitter political debate, splitting Israel’s rightwing government and inspiring demonstrations in Ramle and Beit Shemesh in support for the soldier. The soldier whose name was not officially revealed, has also attracted widespread support on Israeli social media with more than 13,000 people joining Facebook support groups and another 50,000 signing a petition backing his actions. Supporters of the soldier posted a video online of the moments before the shooting, which they say shows supports the soldier’s claim that he feared the assailant may have had an explosive device. The two most prominent figures who have given vocal support to the soldier and his family have been the far-right Israeli education minister, Naftali Bennett, whose "The Jewish Home" party organised the demonstration in the city of Ramle, and the former foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman. Israeli lawmakers from the center-left reacted harshly, warning of the dangers of moral decline and of loose rules of engagement in the military.[146] The military prosecution announced on 14 April that the soldier will be charged with manslaughter.[147] An IDF document leaked to Vice News described that the soldier had actually killed the Palestinian knifer because he thought he "needed to die" since he was a terrorist. It also stated that he had changed his version of events during his questioning.[148]

    Events described as a potential Third Intifada

    In 2008, Al Jazeera reported that Hamas leadership had called for a Third Intifada,[149] but analysts have observed that these calls never came to fruition.[150] Some commentators have suggested that the Silent Intifada, a term used to describe a period of increased violence during the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict, was in fact a Third Intifada.[151] Other sources have identified a period of renewed violence in September and October 2015 as a potential Third Intifada,[152][153] but the Palestinian leadership has refrained from calling these events a Third Intifada.[154] Nohad Ali, a sociologist from the University of Haifa, also suggested that the events in October 2015 were not a Third Intifada.[155] Other commentators also note that the 2015 events are different from previous Intifadas because the uprising lacks both an organizational framework under an acknowledged political leadership and a clear set of goals.[154] It has also been noted that the events of the first two weeks in October were mainly restricted to Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, and did not reflect general participation from the West Bank as in earlier Intifadas.[156]


    The U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously called on Palestinians to end incitement against Israel. Eliot Engel said that "This wave of violence isn’t some random flare-up. It’s the product of years and years of anti-Israel propaganda and indoctrination — some of which has been actively promoted by Palestinian Authority officials and institutions."[157] A Shin Bet senior officer said that much of the incitement is coming from Hamas.[158]

    Disinformation controversies

    On 14 October Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian media claimed that 13-year-old Ahmed Manasra, who was documented committing an attack in Pisgat Ze'ev this week, had been "executed" by Israel, but Dr. Asher Salmon, the deputy director of the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, said Thursday that the boy was alive and was in light-to-moderate condition. Photos of Manasra from the hospital were released to support those statements. In an English translation of Abbas' speech released by the PLO, however, the Palestinian President was quoted as saying Israel "shoots" Palestinian children in cold blood "as they did with the child Ahmed Manasra," replacing the word "executions" with more moderate language. Actually, while Manasra's cousin Hassan was shot to death, Ahmed was not shot – he was hit by an Israeli vehicle, suffering a head injury.[159][160][161][162]

    Glorification of attacks

    On 6 October, Sultan Abu Al-Einein, Mahmoud Abbas' adviser, explicitly glorified the attacks on his Facebook page. He called the Lions' Gate stabbings which left two dead and two wounded including a two-year-old child, a "heroic operation". He also posted a picture of the stabber, and "saluting" those "protecting Jerusalem" he wrote: "Kiss their foreheads, and do not forget their hands".

    On 17 October, Jibril Rajoub, a senior member of Palestinian Authority ruling party Fatah said in an interview that "These are clearly individual operations, but they require heroism, courage, and a value system, which forces the Palestinian elite and the Palestinian national forces to see in the final words of one of those heroes, written in a blog, a document that could be taught in schools in a lesson about the meaning of martyrdom..."[163]

    Incitement by the Islamic State

    According to Algemeiner analysis published in January 2016,[33]

    While the threat of border clashes with Islamic State terrorists fighting in the Syrian civil war has concerned Israeli leaders for some time now, the recruitment of Israeli Arabs to form their own terror cells or launch lone wolf attacks inside of Israel — akin to the Paris or San Bernardino attacks late in 2015 — has recently become a more serious threat for the Jewish state.

    According to a cyber-security expert opinion of INSS, the a new trend started during the "wave of terror" in Israel, with the Islamic State organization flooding social media platforms with messages tailored to Palestinians and Israeli Arabs.[33]

    The Shin Bet security service announced that the terrorists, who murdered four people at Tel Aviv tourist attraction, were inspired by the Islamic State group.[164] Reportedly, this confirmed the assessment, previously made by Palestinian security services on the night of the attack.[164] Following the June 2016 Tel Aviv shooting, Israeli newspaper "Haaretz", wrote that first signs emerged of ISIS-inspired lone-wolf terrorism in Israel.[164]


    Politicians and government officials


    Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour said of the cycle of violence and retaliation that the situation was "extremely dangerous" and accused "extremists on the Israeli side" of seeking to "impose a Jewish presence" at the Temple Mount. He warned that such attempts would cause a religious confrontation that would have "ramifications in all corners of the Middle East and beyond. Religious confrontation is what ISIS is dreaming of."[165]


    After a death on the night of Rosh Hashanah in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held an emergency meeting to decide on new legislation for minimum sentences for stone throwers, heavy fines on parents whose children threw stones and the use of multiple sniper fire Ruger 10/22 against rioters throwing stones and Molotov cocktails. A pay increase for border police throughout Jerusalem and the calling up reserve forces of police and Border Guard forces was also enacted by the security cabinet. Netanyahu later accused Arabs, especially the Palestinian Authority and the Islamic Movement in Israel of inciting and fanning flames, while prohibiting all Members of Knesset (MK's) from going to the Temple Mount, although some Jewish and Arab Joint List MK's said they would ignore the rulings.[166]

    On 30 July, the Knesset had approved an amendment to the Prisons Ordinance allowing the force-feeding of an inmate when a doctor determines that there is a real danger to the life of the prisoner.[167][168]

    The mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat encouraged "licensed gun owners to carry their weapons to increase security" and compared it to "military reserve duty." Later the mayors office commented that "Many terror attacks in Jerusalem have been prevented or neutralized due to the quick actions and response of responsible bystanders", and Netanyahu said that "Civilians are at the forefront of the war against terrorism and must also be on maximum alert".[169]

    Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat's advocacy for licensed gun owners to carry firearms for security reasons was read as a "declaration of war" on all the city's Palestinian residents by the Palestinian official for Jerusalem, Adnan Husseini.[169]

    Security forces

    Following the escalation of violence in Tishrei, Israeli police and border guards were deployed around the country and especially in the Jerusalem area.[170]

    On 20 October, Israeli troops rearrested Hassan Yousef, a senior Hamas figure in the West Bank, accusing him of "fermenting violence and conflict against Israel among the Palestinian public."[171][172]

    According to policy makers in the Israeli security apparatus, there is a correlation between the knife attacks and a dramatic drop in suicides within Palestinian society since the onset of the attacks in late 2015. They think that this factor is a crucial element for understanding what motivates some of the attacks, by teenagers of both sexes from problematical homes, for women accused of dishonouring their families and with people suffering from mental disabilities. By unsheathing knives, they secure themselves a martyr's death.[173]



     France – France called for the placing of international observers to the Temple Mount in October 2015 in order to preserve the status quo. Israel however rejected it, saying that that action would violate the said status quo.[174]

     GermanyAngela Merkel met with Benjamin Netanyahu on 21 October to discuss the wave of violence. She said that Germany expects Mahmoud Abbas "to condemn everything that constitutes an act of terror. One can’t have open talks with Israel if this does not happen." She also said that "young Palestinians need a perspective and unilateral steps are not helpful".[175]

     Jordan – After talks with visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron, King Abdullah II warned Israel, on 9 September, that "any more provocation in Jerusalem will affect the relationship between Jordan and Israel. Jordan will not have a choice but to take actions, unfortunately."[165]

     United StatesState Department spokesman John Kirby, on 9 September, condemned "all acts of violence" at the Temple Mount – and called on Israel not to lift restrictions for Jewish visitors. "The United States is deeply concerned by the recent violence and escalating tensions surrounding the Haram al-Sharif Temple Mount. We strongly condemn all acts of violence. It is absolutely critical that all sides exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric and preserve unchanged the historic status quo on the Haram al-Sharif Temple Mount, in word and in practice." He added that all sides should "exercise restraint."[165]

     United Nations – The UN condemned the attacks in Israel and called on both sides to restore calm. In addition, Ban Ki-Moon made a surprise visit to Israel.[176]

    Pro–Israel rally in Paris, 18 October 2015

    In a joint statement with the Israeli NGO B'tselem, Amnesty International stated that in some instances Israeli forces have engaged in extrajudicial killings, which Israeli politicians are accused of openly endorsing as a response to Palestinians merely suspected by police of terrorist intentions[177] of unarmed civilians. Prime Minister Netanyahu made a point of saying when the US killed the San Bernardino shooters, nobody said they were extrajudicial killings. He then explained how Israel is unfairly criticized. Human Rights Watch, raising the possibility that Israel may be engaged in violations of international law, has expressed concern over what it calls Israel's "indiscriminate and even deliberate" shooting of protesters.[178]

    See also


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