Two Palestinian men armed with knives tried to board a school bus in Israel before stabbing an Israeli man yesterday, in a further escalation of violence in the country.
The two attackers were stopped from entering the bus in Beit Shemesh by the driver and local residents. They then stabbed a 25-year-old Israeli man near the bus station. His injuries were said not to be serious.
The attackers were identified as Mahmoud Ghanimat and Makdad Heeh, both 20 years old from a West Bank village, Tzurif. A search revealed they wore shirts bearing the insignia of the Izz a-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group.
At a rally in South Africa yesterday, Hamas’s leader Khaled Mashal promised that “the Jerusalem intifada” would go on.
“The uprisings shall continue until freedom is achieved and the land is for Palestine and its people,” he said. Earlier yesterday, an Israeli soldier shot and killed a Jewish man he suspected was a Palestinian terrorist in Jerusalem.
Police said the man assaulted the soldiers and tried to snatch their gun when they boarded a bus in Jerusalem.
Hours earlier, five IDF soldiers were injured in a car-ramming attack in the West Bank.The incidents were the latest in a cycle of violence which erupted on Oct 1, raising fears of a new Palestinian intifada, or uprising.
John Kerry, the US secretary of state, expressed “cautious optimism” after talks with Benjamin Netanyahu, which were part of a flurry of diplomatic activity aimed at halting the unrest
The Israeli leader had entered talks with Mr Kerry in an unyielding mode, accusing the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas of inciting the wave of attacks.
However, after the four-hour meeting, Mr Kerry said he had “a cautious measure of optimism that there may be some things that could be, in the next couple of days, put on the table”.
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