Israelis, Palestinians bury dead after surge in violence

Jerusalem: Israelis and Palestinians buried their dead today after one of the deadliest days in nearly eight weeks of lone wolf violence that is challenging Israeli security thinking.

Three Israelis, an American and a Palestinian were killed yesterday in two attacks by Palestinians in Tel Aviv and the occupied West Bank. Both assailants were arrested.

The killings came after a few days of apparent calm, shattering hopes the wave of violence was subsiding.

Violence since the start of October has killed at least 86 people on the Palestinian side, including one Arab Israeli, 15 Israelis, an American and an Ethiopian.

Israeli security officials quietly admit they are preparing for months of attacks while analysts said new checks will be needed to prevent further bloodshed.

In Kfar Etzion south of Jerusalem, more than 1,000 mostly Orthodox Jews attended the funeral of Yaakov Don.

He was killed yesterday afternoon when an assailant opened fire from a car near a Jewish settlement block south of Jerusalem before crashing into pedestrians.

In Hebron, around 2,000 Palestinian crowded outside the Al-Hussein Ibn Ali mosque to mourn Shadi Arafa, who was killed in the same attack.

His brother Baha said he was hit by Israeli fire although an investigation is underway to determine the exact circumstances of his death.

Clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli security forces erupted after the funeral.

The body of the third victim, American Ezra Schwartz, is being flown back to the United States for burial.

Two Israelis killed in the Tel Aviv attack when a Palestinian stormed into an office building with a knife were buried in separate funerals also on Friday.

The Tel Aviv stabbing was the first attack to take place in Israel’s commercial capital since the wave of unrest erupted in October.

Analysts said it was a concerning new trend as the perpetrator had a permit to work in Israel, was married with five children and had no previous criminal record.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians with work permits travel into Israel daily and are traditionally perceived as a low threat.