Stabbed Teen Dies

Published: August 3, 2015

Stabbed Teen Dies, A teenager stabbed at a gay pride march has died of her injuries as the attack and a firebombing that killed a Palestinian child increased pressure on Israel to crack down on Jewish extremists.

Shira Banki, 16, was among six people stabbed at the Jerusalem march on Thursday by a suspect identified as an ultra-Orthodox Jew released from prison only weeks earlier for a similar attack.

The five other victims suffered various degrees of injuries.

On Friday morning, hours after the march, assailants suspected of being Jewish settlers firebombed a Palestinian family’s home in the West Bank, killing an 18-month-old boy.

The separate attacks have put a spotlight on Jewish extremists, while the firebombing further inflamed tensions between Israelis and Palestinians, with clashes breaking out in various cities.

On Sunday morning, Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli police at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, one of Islam’s holiest sites, though calm was later restored.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned both attacks and called the firebombing “terrorism” – a word usually used by Israelis to refer to violence by Palestinians.

On Sunday, he spoke of “zero tolerance” for such acts.

But many have accused his government of failing to address the problem of Jewish extremism and of going dangerously far in its support for right-wing settler groups.

We won’t permit the terrible murderer to challenge the basic values on which Israeli society is built.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu

“Those who incite against Israel’s Arab citizens should not be surprised when churches and mosques are set on fire, and when finally a baby is burned in the middle of the night,” ex-president Shimon Peres told an anti-violence rally in Tel Aviv on Saturday night.

His comments were seen as at least partly directed at Mr Netanyahu, who on election day in March caused outrage when he warned that Arabs were being mobilised “in droves” to the ballot boxes.

Last week, education minister Naftali Bennett addressed protesters at a West Bank outpost where settlers clashed with police when authorities moved in to seize two buildings ruled illegal by the Israeli high court.

On the same day demolition of the two unfinished buildings began, Mr Netanyahu, who has only a one-seat majority in parliament, approved the immediate construction of 300 new homes in the same area.


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