Violence Between Israelis And Palestinians Continues Israeli security forces said Saturday that Palestinians attempted three stabbing attacks in Jerusalem and in the West Bank. NPR's Emily Harris is in Jerusalem to help us understand what's happening and why.
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Violence Between Israelis And Palestinians Continues

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Violence Between Israelis And Palestinians Continues

Violence Between Israelis And Palestinians Continues

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Violence between Israelis and Palestinians continues. Israeli security forces say that Palestinians attempted three different stabbing attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Israeli police and, in one case, an Israeli civilian shot the Palestinians and killed all three. NPR's Emily Harris is in Jerusalem. Emily, thanks for being us.

EMILY HARRIS, BYLINE: Hi, Scott.

SIMON: What can you tell us about these three most recent killings?

HARRIS: Well, two of them are very similar and following a pattern that we've seen. Police say an Israeli man, who was out in a park that overlooks several Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, noticed a young man he thought looked suspicious. And he went and found some police. There's a lot more police out there now. The police found the Palestinian, asked him for ID, and then, the police say, when they asked him for ID, this Palestinian man drew a knife. And police shot and killed him at that point. He was 16 years old, and he lived right near there in one of the neighborhoods below the park. The other one was at a border police station near Hebron in the West Bank. That's a Palestinian city there. And police say a woman stabbed a border police officer in the arm, and the officer shot and killed that woman attacker. And then, the second stabbing in Hebron - so the third stabbing of the day - involved a civilian, not Israeli security forces. According to the military, the civilian shot and killed a Palestinian he said had tried to stab him. This comes after yesterday when four Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces. Three were in clashes with forces, throwing stones and firebombs around the West Bank and Gaza. And then another one was an attempted stabbing in the West Bank, when the Palestinian who attempted it dressed up as a news photographer. He was also shot and killed.

SIMON: The daily total violence - does this add up to another intifada, or uprising, yet?

HARRIS: Well, that is a word that is on a lot of people's lips here. When we look back at the previous two waves of violence that were labeled intifada, both of them lasted several years. What might be similar here is that there doesn't really seem, at this point, to be a way out of this -an answer - to stem this particular tide of violence. There are no peace talks that are going on. The last round of that was ended in early 2014, when both sides gave up, accusing the other of letting them fall apart.

A lot of the recent eruption of tension has been around questions of access to this compound in Jerusalem that's holy to both Muslims and Jews, Al-Aqsa Mosque, or the Temple Mount. There's a small group of Jewish Israelis who want more Jewish access there. And an even smaller group that talks about rebuilding a Jewish temple there, where a mosque and an Islamic shrine now stand. The Israeli government has said very clearly it has no intention of changing the current rules, which, in fact, forbid Jews from praying there, but they can go up and visit. But this is a really emotional issue, and Palestinians get very worried and angry about it, not just Palestinians, but Muslims around the Arab world.

SIMON: This violence is occurring in the heart of Jerusalem, which is one of the few places where Israelis and Palestinians actually come across each other on a daily basis, or used to be.

HARRIS: That's right. They really do rub shoulders here a lot on a daily basis. And it's a tense and uncertain city now. There are roadblocks up in a many of the East Jerusalem neighborhoods. Some of the roads are just closed. Others have police checkpoints. You have to go show ID or talk to the police before you can walk or drive out. This is adding to the tension there. And, basically, the feeling here is that neither Palestinians nor Israelis seem to be clear on what's going to happen next.

SIMON: NPR's Emily Harris in Jerusalem, thanks so much.

HARRIS: Thank you, Scott.

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