Israel: Stabbings as violence flares in Palestinian 'Day of Rage'

Israeli police officers survey the scene of a stabbing in Jerusalem, October 12, 2015Reuters

A string of Palestinian attacks on Jews in Jerusalem and a suburb of Tel Aviv have left at least two dead and many wounded as unrest mounts following protests in the Temple Mount area.

The main Palestinian factions, including the Western-backed Fatah movement and the militant Hamas group, declared a "Day of Rage" on Tuesday across the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

Sixteen people were wounded, eight of them seriously, when two gunmen opened fire on a bus in Jerusalem. They were shot by the police and at least one is thought to have died.

Elsewhere in Jerusalem a man ran over three people at a bus stop and then stabbed them.

In Tel Aviv, a Palestinian man stabbed an Israeli at a bus stop. The attacker was seized by passers-by and reportedly beaten. An amateur video distributed by police showed several men kicking and beating him as he lay on the ground. The ambulance service said he was seriously hurt.

Later an Israeli woman was stabbed and wounded in a separate attack in Raanana. The attacker was arrested.

So far six Israelis have died in attacks during two weeks of violent protests over an increasing Jewish presence in the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, seen as provocative by Palestinians who believe that Jews want to force them to open the area for Jewish prayers. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied that he intends this.

Palestinian casualties so far amount to 27, including nine alleged attackers. Eight of those who have died were children. More than 500 people were injured in a 72-hour period, a third of whom were shot with live ammunition or rubber-tipped bullets.

The rise in tensions is also linked to the failure of the peace process, which has stalled in the face of the continued expansion of Jewish settlements on Palestian territory and the weakness of Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah government.