Tensions were running high in the already restive Occupied West Bank region of East Jerusalem on Thursday after two separate attacks targeting Israelis killed one civilian and injured at least 17 others, including three Israeli soldiers the day before, according to media reports. A Palestinian, reportedly a Hamas militant, who was behind one of the attacks, was also killed.
Hours after the first attacker, believed to be an East Jerusalem resident named Ibrahim al-Akri, slammed a minivan into a crowd waiting for a train, killing one and injuring 14, the Israeli military said that a similar attack was carried out in the Gush Etzion area in southern West Bank. Israeli police reportedly described the incidents as “hit-and-run terror attacks.”
The attack in East Jerusalem took place in the same area as a similar attack two weeks ago, in which a Palestinian man rammed a car into a crowd killing a woman and a baby, according to media reports.
Meanwhile, amid steadily intensifying clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces in the Occupied West Bank over entry to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Temple Mount compound, Jordan, which is a custodian of the mosque, recalled its ambassador to Israel for “consultations,” according to media reports
The decision was taken after “the government decided that what we have seen in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound…is just way beyond the limits,” Nasser Judeh, the Jordanian foreign minister, said.
“We have sent repeated messages to Israel directly and indirectly that Jerusalem is a redline, and these continuous violations and incursions and stopping people from worshipping freely and allowing extremists to come in under the protection of Israeli police and so many other violations, we have said that this is a redline,” Judeh said, during a press conference in Paris, where he also met U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. “Calm has to be restored and Israel has to respect the sanctity of the holy sites.”
Jordan's U.N. Ambassador Dina Kawar also urged the Security Council, in a letter written Wednesday, to take steps to stop further “violations” by Israeli forces in the Al-Aqsa compound, according to a report by Haaretz.