Violence continued on Saturday in Jerusalem as an attacker, identified by the police as a 13-year-old boy, shot and injured two Israelis near a settlement in East Jerusalem, the morning after a Palestinian assailant killed seven people outside a synagogue elsewhere in the city.
Both victims on Saturday were taken to a hospital and were described by medics as being in serious but not critical condition. The teenage assailant was shot and injured by two passers-by, according to a police statement.
The attack underscored the fragility of the situation in Israel and the occupied territories, which has left at least 20 Israelis and Palestinians dead in less than a week and has prompted many on either side of the conflict to fear a possible greater conflagration.
The combination of several overlapping dynamics — a new hard-right Israeli government that has promised to take a stronger stance against Palestinians; rising anger and militancy from a new generation of Palestinians; an escalating Israeli military campaign in Palestinian areas; and the Palestinian leadership’s decision this week to sever security coordination with Israeli counterparts — threatens to accelerate a cycle of violence and undermine efforts to calm tensions.
On Saturday night, the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said his government would respond calmly to the escalation in violence and warned civilians against vigilantism.
But Mr. Netanyahu also promised strong actions against the perpetrators of the recent attacks and their families, pledging to seal and demolish their homes and to cancel their national insurance payouts. He also said the government would make it easier and faster for Israelis to attain gun licenses, allowing more civilians to carry weapons.
Also on Saturday, the Palestinian Authority, the semiautonomous body that administers parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, released a statement blaming the Israeli government for the tensions and promising to uphold a decision it made this week to halt coordination with Israeli security officials. And Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip, warned that the region was “heading for an unprecedented escalation.”
The Israeli national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, pushed for even tougher measures than Mr. Netanyahu — including capital punishment, currently permitted only in very rare circumstances — and backed Mr. Netanyahu’s plans for loosening gun license laws.
“I want weapons on the streets,” Mr. Ben-Gvir said in a television interview.
“When civilians have weapons, they can defend themselves,” he added.
An Israeli official also said that the cabinet would discuss the possibility of deporting assailants and their families.
The attack on Saturday morning occurred in Silwan, a mainly Palestinian district of East Jerusalem, a few hundred yards south of some of the holiest sites in the Old City.
After an invasion by its Arab neighbors in 1967, the area was captured by Israel and later annexed. Tensions in the neighborhood, which is still considered occupied territory by much of the world, have surged in recent decades since Israeli settlers began to move there in greater numbers and seek the eviction of Palestinian residents.
The 13-year-old attacker was filmed firing on a group of Jewish Israelis as they walked through the area, hitting a father and his adult son. Palestinian media reported that the assailant also lived in Silwan, and that his relatives were subsequently arrested by the police.
The attack on Saturday came hours before mourners were set to hold funerals for the seven people killed on Friday night outside a synagogue. Among them was a 14-year-old boy, Asher Natan. Another victim was a Ukrainian citizen, according to a condolence message posted online by the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky. Two others, named by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, were Eli and Natalie Mizrahi, a husband and wife.
Elsewhere in East Jerusalem on Saturday, the police said they had arrested 42 people connected to the Palestinian assailant in the attack on Friday night.
An Israeli official identified him as a 21-year-old Palestinian from East Jerusalem. Israeli and Palestinian media reported that his grandfather had been killed by an Israeli in 1998.
The police also said they had increased their presence in the streets of Jerusalem after the attacks this past week, while the Israeli Defense Ministry said it was scaling up efforts to protect Israeli settlements and roads in the West Bank.
The Israeli prison service said that it had placed dozens of Palestinian prisoners in solitary confinement after they celebrated the attack outside the synagogue.
The situation in Israel and the occupied territories was already tense before the current government entered office in late December during the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since 2005.
But tensions have further escalated throughout January, with more than 30 Palestinians killed this month, mostly during Israeli operations to arrest Palestinian militants that have quickly evolved into gunfights.
Nine Palestinians were killed in one such raid on Thursday, the deadliest such incident in at least half a decade, leading the Palestinian Authority to announce it was suspending its coordination with the Israeli security services in protest.
If fully enacted, the move would halt most contact between the Israeli and Palestinian intelligence and military services, making it easier for both armed Palestinian groups and violent Israeli settlers to act unimpeded.
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