Tensions Rise in Israel After Random Attacks

Posted on Nov 12, 2014

A series of attacks on civilians in Israel has the residents of that country fearful of more intense violence. Newsweek reported there have been three attacks in the country on citizens during the past three weeks, a violent trend that has led to increased security at some major border crossings and other important areas. Those incidents include a vehicle being driven into a railroad station, an attempted assassination of politician and community activist Yehuda Glick and, most recently, a vehicular attack on a crowd. The death of an Israeli citizen from the most recent incident, where a Palestinian man living in East Jerusalem drove a van into a crowd of people and then exited the vehicle to attack them with a blunt object, has some feeling particularly on edge. The driver of the van was later identified by authorities as a member of terrorist group Hamas.

Attacks in Israel have led to a state of increased security and fearfulness

Fighting near holy sites
The potential for more violence as Muslim residents of the country moved to various holy sites for Friday prayers on November 7 was cited by CNN as one reason for the increased security presence by Israeli forces. A group of young Palestinians had fought with police near the holy site of the Damascus Gate, which opens into Old Jerusalem, earlier in the week. Continued low-level fighting has also been experienced at the entrance of a Palestinian refugee camp where the driver in the fatal van attack previously resided. The violence has mostly been limited to setting fires and rock throwing on the part of protesters and the use of less-lethal crowd control measures such as rubber bullets and tear gas by police, although the potential for escalation remains.

The potential for more problems
While some of the individuals involved in specific attacks have been identified, no motives have been established beyond the long-standing issues between the various ethnic and religious groups in the area. The incidents haven't targeted major infrastructure as of yet, but travel in and out of Jerusalem could easily be affected if the frequency or violence increases. From a corporate security standpoint, Israel's large economic stature in the area means a significant amount of companies will have assets, employees or other business responsibilities in the area. Organizations in such a position will, as always, have to keep a close eye on the situation and understand that the potential for more violence exists.


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