Hamas’s leader in Gaza has declared a third intifada in Jerusalem and the West Bank after a day of escalating violence of knife attacks and shootings.
One of the day’s first incidents left three Palestinians and an Israeli Arab wounded after a Jewish extremist attacked them with a knife, but as the day went on the death toll rose.
“The Intifada of Al-Quds has begun, and we are not going back. The Zionist enemy is fully responsible and has crossed all the red lines and offended and angered the feelings of our people by the split and isolation of the Al Aqsa mosque,” said Hamas’s Mushir al-Masri.
In Kiryat Arba an Israeli policeman shot dead a man who stabbed him, but by far the worst violence came on the Gaza border, where six Palestinians were shot dead, and over 270 were injured. Another 64 were injured in the West Bank, dozens by live fire according to Palestinian medical sources.
In this climate hardliners on both sides are gaining ground, with Hamas defying Fatah’s calls for calm, and Jewish hardliners occupying sensitive locations.