JERUSALEM (AP) – Following two deadly Palestinian attacks, Israel said it was tightening security in major cities and in the West Bank on Tuesday amid fears that the violence could spread further.
The move comes a day after a Palestinian from the West Bank city of Nablus stabbed a 20-year-old Israeli soldier at a crowded Tel Aviv train station. The soldier later died of his wounds.
Also Monday, a Palestinian assailant stabbed three people at a bus stop next to a West Bank settlement, killing a 25-year-old Israeli woman and wounding two others.
The violence comes amid rising tensions spawned by conflicting claims to a Jerusalem holy site and the aftermath of this summer’s bloody Gaza war.
In recent weeks Palestinians in east Jerusalem have carried out violent protests, alleging that Jewish zealots are secretly trying to gain control of the site.
Complicating the situation, tensions have spiked following the killing of an Israeli Arab by a policeman in the northern Israeli town of Kfar Kana on Saturday.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that in response to the two deadly attacks Monday, several police units had been mobilized in major Israeli cities, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and were being deployed “in public places.”
The Israeli military said it sent reinforcements to the West Bank, following what it called “new security assessments.”
Israeli media debated whether the country was on the verge of a new Palestinian uprising or intifada, similar to those from the late 1980s and the first decade of the 2000s that took hundreds of lives.
“This is the same soundtrack that we all remember from the days of the intifadas,” wrote Alex Fishman in Tuesday’s edition of Yediot Ahronot newspaper. “You haven’t yet had time to come to terms with the morning’s terror attack and you’re already … in the next one.”
Early Tuesday, an explosion at the Keren Shalom crossing point on the Israel-Gaza border killed one person, health authorities in Gaza said.
Munir Ghalban, head of the Palestinian side of the crossing, described it as an accident.