11/11/2014, 00.00
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An Israeli woman and soldier killed in knife attack

by Joshua Lapide
Tensions spreads to Tel Aviv. Protests continue over murder of Palestinian youth in Kafr Kana, who was killed by police officers. The Security Minister approves police actions. The mayor of Kafr Kana: A stain on Israeli democracy. Israeli Arabs are second-class citizens.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews) - An Israeli woman and a soldier have been stabbed to death in two separate attacks in Tel Aviv and in the Occupied Territories.

The woman, Dalia Lamkus, 26, was at a bus stop yesterday near the Israeli settlement of Alon Shvut. The assailant, Hamdi Maher al-Hashlamon, first tried to drive his car into the group, but rammed it against concrete protection barriers. He got out of the car and attacked the woman and two others present with a knife. The attacker shot dead by guards at the entrance of the settlement.

The attack took place near the spot where June last three young Israelis were kidnapped and then killed. The incident also resulted in the killing of a young 17 year old Palestinian from Jerusalem by some Israeli extremists. The two killings spawned growing tension which opened a new chapter in the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, which lasted 50 days.

In the attack in Tel Aviv, a 17 year old Palestinian stabbed Shiloni Almog, an Israeli soldier of 20, near the train station. The soldier died yesterday from his injuries. The young Palestinian was arrested. Police said he is originally from a refugee camp near Nablus, in the north of the occupied territories and had entered Israel illegally.

The attack in Tel Aviv shows that there is a growing tension in areas which thus far had remained quiet. In recent weeks, in two separate attacks, Palestinian militants have rammed their cars into pedestrians in Jerusalem, killing four people. The two assailants were killed. This latest wave of violence has been triggered by provocations by Zionist settlers and rabbis who claim the right to pray on the Temple Mount, demanding a change to the status quo in Jerusalem.

Yesterday at Kafr Kana demonstrations and clashes continued and calm only returned in the afternoon, while Israeli Arabs gathered at the family home of Hamdane Kheir, 22, killed by police after threatening some of them with a knife. A video security camera shows that the young man was shot in the back as he walked away from the police car, without presenting any threat to them.

In Sakhnin, 1500 high school students held an assembly in front of the City Hall to criticize the killing of Hamdane and protests at the Temple Mount. In Nazareth, yesterday evening, some protesters blocked the main road and burned some tires.

Comments from members of the government have added fuel to the wrath of  Israeli Arabs. Yesterday, the Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch expressed his "full support" for the actions of those who killed Hamdane. The mayor of Kafr Kana, Mujahed Awadeh, has condemned the attitude of the minister as "a stain on Israel's democracy." "If Kafr Kana was a Jewish town - he said - he would have to resign, but this is an Arab village".

Israeli Arabs - about 1.7 million in Israel - complain of being treated like second-class citizens. In the areas inhabited by them, there is high unemployment, less infrastructure, less transport, less government spending. Their access to higher levels of education is very limited.


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