The United Nations special envoy to the Middle East on Monday condemned the new spate of Palestinian attacks against Israeli security forces and civilians, and called for both sides to act to restore the relative quiet of recent weeks.
Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said there can be no justification for the violence.
“I am disturbed by the recent violence over the past week,” Mladenov said. “I reiterate the United Nations position that there can be no justification for terror and violence.”
Mladenov urged both sides to maintain calm ahead of the Jewish New Year, which begins in two weeks and marks the start of a series of religious festivals.
“I call upon authorities on both sides to take measures to preserve calm and avoid escalation, especially during the upcoming period of the Jewish High Holy Days.”
The eight attacks since Friday — six stabbings, a car ramming and a rock throwing — caught many Israelis by surprise, as the violence that marked late 2015 and early 2016 appeared to have waned in recent months, raising fears that regular attacks could return.
“[The Eid al-Adha holiday] and September are always more susceptible to spikes in violent Palestinian activities,” an Israeli military official, speaking anonymously, said Saturday.
“The motivation and inspiration to carry out attacks against Israelis remains strong,” the official said.
Meanwhile, opposition leader Isaac Herzog on Sunday criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman for their handling of the wave of violence, holding them personally responsible for the security of Israeli citizens.
“This intifada proves that Liberman and Netanyahu do not know how to deal with terror,” Herzog said according to the Ynet news website. “Israel is no longer safe, and is attacked day and night with knives, Molotov cocktails and lethal rocks. The duo of Netanyahu and Liberman has collapsed and the citizens of Israel are paying the price.”