Three attacks on Israelis shatter relative calm

Three alleged assailants were killed while carrying out attacks on Israelis Friday, security forces said, shattering weeks of relative calm in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

In the first incident, a man tried to stab a police officer in occupied East Jerusalem and was killed on the spot.

Police said the attacker, Saeed Amro, was 28 and held a Jordanian passport, having crossed the border between the two countries Thursday.

The incident occurred at the Damascus Gate entrance to East Jerusalem’s Old City.

Shortly afterward, two Palestinians rammed a car into a bus stop used by Israelis in the occupied West Bank, causing injuries before troops killed one of the assailants, the army said.

“Two assailants rammed a vehicle into a civilian bus stop at the Elias junction near the community of Kiryat Arba.”

“Forces at the scene fired at the vehicle resulting in the death of one of the assailants while the other was wounded,” an Israeli statement said.

Three young civilians were lightly injured, Israeli medics said.

The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the dead suspect as Firas Khadour. Local sources named the wounded attacker, a woman, as Raghad Khadour.

She was taken to hospital in serious condition after being shot.

In the third attack, a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli soldier in Hebron and was killed, the army said.

“An assailant arrived at a junction near Hebron armed with a knife and stabbed a soldier,” a statement said, adding that he had been shot dead.

A fourth man was killed overnight Thursday, also in Hebron, after allegedly trying to evade arrest by the Israeli military.

Friday’s incidents came shortly after midday Muslim prayers on the first Friday after the weeklong Eid al-Adha holiday, and shattered a relative lull in violence in Israel and Palestine.

Friday, military sources said the Israeli army estimates that thousands of rockets could slam into its territories in any future conflagration.

“Total war on several fronts, destruction of essential equipment and infrastructure and heavy rocket bombardment” all form part of the scenario for the exercise, which runs from Sunday until Sept. 21, the army said ahead of a nationwide civil defense drill.The drill is based on projections of the army’s Home Front Command, which estimates 1,500 rockets crashing into the country each day, military sources said in a briefing to Israeli reporters, local media reported.

The projectiles could be launched simultaneously by Lebanon’s Hezbollah across Israel’s northern border and to a far lesser extent from Hamas-ruled Gaza in the south.

Hamas is said to have been left seriously weakened after a 2014 Gaza war against Israel, but it still holds thousands of rockets, according to a military official.

Hezbollah has at least 100,000 and probably more, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Only around one in 100 rockets is likely to hit a building, military sources say, with the rest falling on open ground or being intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

They say 95 percent of rockets fired will likely carry a light payload and have a range of less than 40 kilometers, but Hezbollah can hit densely-populated central Israel with dozens of rockets each day.

The Home Front Command, tasked with leading and coordinating civil defense, regularly publishes maps showing the maximum time, by location, that Israelis have to take shelter after air raid sirens sound.

In Tel Aviv, the time to scramble to safety has been reassessed from 90 seconds at present to 60 in the next conflict.


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