Two terrorist attacks in East Jerusalem, two more attempted attacks in the West Bank: the recent outbreak of violence in the Middle East conflict has caused concern in many countries. An armed man was planning to attack the Kedumim settlement west of the city of Nablus, as Israel’s army announced on Sunday night.

Security guards had previously discovered and “neutralized” the “terrorist”. It was initially unclear whether they killed the attacker. It was the fourth incident in less than a day and a half.

Earlier, another man fired a shot at a restaurant near the West Bank city of Jericho, according to the Israeli military. Media reported that he subsequently had problems with his gun. This may have prevented further shots – and victims.

At least 42 suspects arrested

Unlike an attack in the morning. A 13-year-old Palestinian man shot and wounded a father and son in an Israeli settlement in the Silwan district of east Jerusalem. The police spoke of a “terrorist attack”. Armed passers-by finally shot the boy. The night before, an attack on visitors to a synagogue that left seven dead caused horror.

The police arrested at least 42 suspects – relatives and neighbors of the killed assassin. It was not immediately known what they were charged with.

Israel conquered the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. More than 600,000 Israeli settlers live there today. The Palestinians claim the territories for an independent state of Palestine with the Arab-influenced eastern part of Jerusalem as the capital.

New anti-terror measures

After the attacks, Israel’s security cabinet decided on new counter-terrorism measures. For example, Israeli citizens should be able to obtain firearms licenses more easily and quickly. The cabinet did not give any details. Israel also wants relatives of terrorist-supporting terrorists to be stripped of social security entitlements and health care benefits. It was initially unclear whether and how exactly it should be checked whether someone is a terrorist supporter. “We are not looking for an escalation, but we are prepared for any scenario,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the cabinet meeting last night.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and many other international politicians condemned the attack. “Germany stands by Israel’s side,” said von Scholz. “My heart breaks at the news of the terrible terrorist attacks on Shabbat in Jerusalem,” said Israeli President Izchak Herzog.

Worldwide horror

Saudi Arabia, which has no diplomatic relations with Israel, also said it condemned “any attacks on civilians”. Many Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, on the other hand, responded to Friday’s terrorist attack with celebrations. The Palestinian leadership issued a statement saying Israel was “fully responsible for the dangerous escalation.” 31 Palestinians have already been killed this year. The people, including several young people, died in connection with military operations and their own attacks.

On Thursday, nine people were killed in a raid by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank, including members of the militant Palestinian organization Islamic Jihad. It was one of the deadliest military operations in the Palestinian Authority in years.

Protests against ultra-right government

The right-wing extremist police minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, called for citizens “to be better armed in order to avoid such attacks”. Ben-Gvir is considered a political arsonist and has already been convicted of racist hate speech and supporting a Jewish terrorist organization.

According to media reports, tens of thousands of people across the country protested again yesterday evening against the new ultra-right government and its planned reforms in the judicial system. Demonstrators lit candles to commemorate the terror victims. They also observed a minute’s silence for those killed. Some observers are warning of the end of Israeli democracy in view of the planned reform.