Israel-Palestine Feature: October Death Toll Passes 50 — Israeli Soldier & Asylum Seeker Killed, More Palestinians Wounded

PHOTO: Israeli security forces lead people away from scene at Beersheba Bus Station on Sunday (AFP)

The October death toll in the surge in violence in Israel and Palestine passed 50 on Sunday, as an Israeli soldier was killed and more Palestinians were wounded by Israeli security forces.

Police said a 21-year-old Bedouin man stabbed the soldier in the Central Bus Station in Beersheba. He then opened fire with the soldier’s gun, wounding 11 people.

The man was shot dead by security forces. Members of his family have been arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting him.

An Eritrean asylum seeker was shot and mortally wounded when security forces apparently mistook him as a second attacker. Video showed bystanders beating and kicking the man as he lay covered in blood.

Police said they will investigate the “very grave” incident and promised they “will not allow [citizens] to take the law into their hands”.

In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israeli forces shot and injured a number of Palestinians in clashes on Sunday.

The victims included a 16-year-old youth shot in the stomach after a raid by more than 100 Israeli soldiers on a village east of Bethlehem after a military vehicle was set on fire by a Molotov cocktail.

A 12-year-old boy was shot in the thigh and detained in al-Bireh in the West Bank.

At least 43 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since October 1. Some of them have been slain as they attacked Israeli civilians, but most have been protesters in growing demonstrations across East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza.

Eight Israelis have been killed, mainly in stabbings by Palestinians.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said the deaths in the second week of October were the highest in the conflict since 2005.

The clashes, the most serious since July, were initially fueled by the dispute over the status of the Temple Mount complex, which includes the al-Aqsa Mosque. As the violence has grown, the Netanyahu Government has deployed Israeli troops along police in urban areas and promised tougher action against Palestinian suspects.

Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.


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