UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday warned of a dangerous escalation in Jerusalem and the West Bank following the recent spate of terror attacks and appealed for calm.
Ban strongly condemned the violence that left two Israeli men dead in the Old City Saturday, and which was followed by clashes overnight that left scores injured.
The two Israelis were killed by a Palestinian terrorist who also wounded one of the victim’s wife and baby in a knife and gun attack in the Old City.
“Recalling the recent deadly attack on another Israeli family in the occupied West Bank, and in light of the wave of extremism and violence sweeping the region, the secretary-general is deeply concerned that these latest incidents signal a dangerous slide toward escalation,” said a statement.
Ban said he was “deeply troubled” by statements from Palestinian terror groups, including Hamas praise for the attacks.
He “urges all leaders to condemn violence and incitement, maintain calm and to do everything they can to avoid further escalation.”
There have been fears that the sporadic violence could spin out of control, with some warning of the risk of a third Palestinian intifada, or uprising.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday evening wrapped up a four-hour security meeting on the recent uptick in violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank and ordered new security measures be implemented in light of the terror upsurge.
According to Channel 2, among the measures discussed to combat the recent wave of violence were an increase in the use of administrative detention (the jailing of suspects without trial) for Palestinians rioters and terror suspects, an increase in the deployment of security forces in Jerusalem and the West Bank, and the reintroduction of the controversial policy of demolishing terrorists’ homes.
At the end of the meeting, Netanyahu announced that he instructed security forces to “fast-track the razing of terrorists’ homes, expand the use of administrative detention against Palestinian rioters, reinforce the presence of security forces in Jerusalem and the West Bank, and ban those who incite [to terror] from the Old City and the Temple Mount.”
During the meeting, security officials told Netanyahu that the recent wave of violence was just that and not a third intifada, Channel 10 reported.
Afterwards, Netanyahu said that Israel was “waging a fight to the death against Palestinian terror.”