As 3 more Israelis die, police consider making it easier for citizens to carry guns

GlobalPost
Ultra-Orthodox relatives and friends attend the funeral of Isheayahu Krishevsky on Oct. 13, 2015 in Jerusalem, Israel. Krishevsky was stabbed to death by a Palestinian man earlier in the day.
Ilia Yefimovich

TEL AVIV, Israel — Three Israelis were killed and up to 30 wounded across Israel before noon on Tuesday as more lone-wolf attacks by Palestinians caused panic on what was called a “Day of Rage.”

The attacks represented the deadliest day in the current rash of violence in Israel, which began when tensions over Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem boiled over. 

Two Palestinians shot and stabbed passengers on a bus in Jerusalem on Tuesday morning, leaving a 60-year-old man and another passenger dead and ten others hospitalized. Elsewhere in the capital, a Palestinian man drove his car into a bus stop, then got out of the car and began stabbing passersby, killing one and wounding several others.

Earlier on Tuesday morning, in the city of Raanana, north of Tel Aviv, two separate attacks by Palestinians on Jewish Israelis wounded at least eight.

At least three of the Palestinian assailants were shot dead at the scenes of the attacks.

Both major Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, had called for a "Day of Rage" across the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem on Tuesday after accusing Israel of "escalating its crimes against our people."

Since the current round of violence began, six Israelis and 29 Palestinians have been killed, eight of them children.

The violence was partly triggered by an increase in visits by religious Jews to the site of the Al-Aqsa mosque, which sparked fears among some Muslim Palestinians that the Israeli government was seeking to eventually divide the site and to allow Jews to pray there.

More from GlobalPost: Here's why the violence in Jerusalem could be hard to stop

A number of the attacks have happened in East Jerusalem, the portion of the capital annexed by Israel after its victory during the Six Day War in 1967. This area includes the Old City as well at the Al-Aqsa compound, a site which is also holy for Jews as it is where the second temple is said to have stood.  

Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem pay taxes and are considered residents but not citizens of Israel. Services in this part of the city are markedly worse than those in West Jerusalem.

The violence has shown signs of spreading. Over 40 Gazans were hospitalized after clashes with security forces at the Erez border crossing, and thousands of Palestinians are marching in the northern town of Sakhnin, calling for an end to restrictions around Al-Aqsa and an end to the violence.

Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli security forces next to the border fence with Israel on Oct. 13, 2015 at the Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip. A wave of stabbings that hit Israel, Jerusalem and the West Bank this month, along with violent protests in annexed East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, has led to warnings that a third intifada could erupt.

Clashes have been ongoing across the occupied Palestinian Territories. More than 1,300 Palestinians have been injured by live and rubber-coated bullets, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health reported.

In response to Tuesday’s violence, Israeli politicians are calling on the government to take harsh measures.

Nir Barkat, the mayor of Jerusalem, has called for the closure of Palestinian neighborhoods in the city, Haaretz reported.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan is also considering “making it easier for citizens to receive permits to carry personal guns," according to a police statement.

More from GlobalPost: An intifada frame of mind 

Many on the Israeli right have urged Israeli Jews to boycott Palestinian businesses.

Meanwhile a general strike has been called in the West Bank, Gaza and Israeli towns with large Palestinian populations.

Ayman Odeh, an Arab-Israeli MP, condemned the attacks but said that "the responsibility for our current condition and for the violence spreading like wildfire through our streets lies with the government.”

“A people under occupation is not something to be managed. Rising up and struggling against one’s occupiers is but a natural and obvious response; it is, if you will, a ‘law of nature’ that where there is occupation, so too will be resistance."