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Netanyahu cancels Germany trip amid terror wave

Planned participation in summit hosted by Chancellor Angela Merkel had already been shortened due to violence

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attend a joint press conference at the King David hotel in Jerusalem on February 25, 2014 (photo credit: AFP/Menahem Kahana)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attend a joint press conference at the King David hotel in Jerusalem on February 25, 2014 (photo credit: AFP/Menahem Kahana)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu postponed a Thursday visit to Germany due to a surge in Palestinian terror attacks, an Israeli official said Wednesday.

“The trip has been postponed due to the security situation,” the official said on condition of anonymity, amid a series of clashes and attacks involving Palestinians, Israeli security forces and Jewish settlers.

The cancellation came after three attacks on Wednesday left four Israelis lightly injured. One Palestinian assailant was killed in the attacks and several others were injured.

On Tuesday, officials had said the prime minister would cut short the planned visit, but still considered it too important to cancel.

Netanyahu and several cabinet ministers had been scheduled to leave for Berlin Wednesday morning and return late Thursday night but instead planned to spend just a few hours in the German capital before returning the same evening.

The Prime Minister’s Office said at the time Netanyahu felt it was important to be in the country at this challenging time.

The summit, hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, is part of an annual “government-to-government” gathering of the two countries’ cabinets.

An Israeli soldier was stabbed Wednesday afternoon by a Palestinian attacker, who then grabbed his gun and ran into a nearby building before being killed.

Earlier in the day, a Palestinian woman was shot and seriously injured after stabbing a man in Jerusalem’s Old City.

A number of Israelis and Palestinians were also injured in clashes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

During the morning an Israeli woman was injured in the head after a Palestinian mob threw rocks at her car and then tried to pull her from the vehicle. A Palestinian teen was critically injured during the incident, apparently by gunfire from Israeli civilians who came to the woman’s assistance.

Clashes were also reported in near Ramallah and in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina.

Netanyahu faced criticism earlier in the week for not returning to Israel from the United States immediately after a terror attack Thursday night, in which an Israeli couple were gunned in the West Bank in front of their four children.

The prime minister was on a six-day trip to the US, where he spoke at the UN General Assembly on Thursday. He returned to Israel on Sunday morning.

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