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Tension Rises in Israel Following Terrorist Attacks

Lior Haykeen |
November 14, 2014 | 2:52 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Tension is building among Israeli residents after four different incidents in the past month killed Israeli citizens. 

“The general ambiance is a catastrophe,” said Mohammed Wattad, an Arab-Israeli legal scholar who specializes in criminal law and currently teaches at the the University of California Irvine. “The acts that have been occurring in the past weeks are despicable acts of terror.”

The wave of terror Wattad refers to began with a hit and run incident on Oct. 22, in which a resident of a Palestinian town in east Jerusalem ran over eight Israeli residents with a car. An elderly woman and a three-month-old baby were killed. The driver attempted to escape, but was shot by  Israeli policemen. 

About two weeks later, on Nov. 5, a man who was later identified as a Hamas affiliate drove into a group of residents who were waiting for a train in Jerusalem. Two residents were killed and 12 others were wounded. The driver was shot right after the incident occurred. 

“While knowing that these are heinous acts of terror, we should also understand that these Arabs who are committing the crimes feel deeply insulted,” said Wattad. “People [in East Jerusalem] live in poverty. The Israeli government doesn’t supply them with electricity or water. The Palestinian authorities do that.”

SEE ALSO: Israel and Palestine: Proposals for Peace

Following the hit and run incidents, there were two occurrences in which Israeli residents were stabbed to death.

An Israeli Defense Forces soldier was stabbed to death by a Palestinian near a Tel Aviv train station Monday. The 18-year-old Palestinian was arrested by police forces, according to Israel's ynet News.

Just a few hours later, a 26-year-old woman was stabbed to death at a bus station in Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem. 

Less than 24 hours after these attacks, about 1000 IDF soldiers were sent to the West Bank, according to ynet News.

Some Israeli residents feel scared due to these occurrences. 

“It’s really terrifying,” said Israeli resident Danielle Cohen, 28. “We can’t know where they’ll hit next, or who will be hurt. I’m literally scared to stand at a bus station before I go to work.” 

“We’re just young soldiers,” said IDF soldier Dan Zeltzer, 19. “It’s scary to take a bus to the base when I’m wearing an IDF uniform.”

Zeltzer serves at the IDF’s intelligence unit.

“I carry a lot of secrets with me considering my job at the IDF. It’s scary to think that they could see the intelligence beret on my shoulder and decide to kidnap me.”

The Israeli government must calm Israeli residents, said Wattad.

“They should avoid extreme actions, and simply let things calm down.”

Contact Staff Reporter Lior Haykeen here



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