Violence erupted for a 12th day in Israel, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank Sunday with an Arab-Israeli stabbing four people near a bus stop in northern Israel, Reuters reported. Twenty-four Palestinians and four Israelis have died in the recent wave of attacks that could spiral into another intifada, or uprising.
The violence was partly caused by anger over Israel limiting access to al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. For Muslims, the mosque is considered the third holiest place in Islam. It is also a revered site for Jews, known as the Temple Mount.
The stabbing attack Sunday left a female Israeli soldier in critical condition. As an emergency measure, the Israeli government passed a measure that would result in a four-year jail term for any Palestinians caught throwing petrol bombs or rocks.
"We are doing this as a temporary emergency measure so that we can examine the implementation, and if there will be a need, we will make the law even harsher," Netanyahu said. Israel has also ordered the call up of approximately 1,300 reserve troops.
Of the 24 Palestinians killed, eight were children. Two Palestinian boys ages 13 and 15 were shot by Israeli forces. An Israeli airstrike that caused a house to collapse killed a pregnant woman and her 3-year-old daughter Saturday.
"We warn the occupation against continuing this foolishness," said a spokesman from Hamas after the death of the mother and toddler, AFP reported.
Palestinian officials said Sunday Israeli troops had fired live rounds during clashes in the West Bank. The European Union’s Federica Mogherini spoke with Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas Sunday. Netanyahu told Mogherini he intends to maintain the status quo at religious sites.
Talked now with PM @netanyahu & President Abbas on escalation of violence. Need to stop acts of terror & to avoid disproportionate reactions
— Federica Mogherini (@FedericaMog) October 11, 2015
Israel fired rockets into the Gaza Strip aimed at Hamas targets. The Jerusalem Post reported the Israeli strikes were meant to target weapons sites. Israeli police also said they had stopped a car bomb attempt in Jerusalem.
Hundreds of people have been injured in the violence. Negotiations regarding Palestinian statehood stalled last year, and the latest violence has raised fears of a prolonged conflict.