JERUSALEM — Two vicious attacks on Palestinians, presumed to be the work of Jews, have some Israelis worried that their society is increasingly tolerant of hate crimes.
Over the weekend, unknown assailants firebombed a Palestinian taxi in the West Bank. Hours later, a mob of Jewish teens beat a 17-year-old Palestinian unconscious in downtown Jerusalem.
Israeli leaders condemned the violence.
On Tuesday, President Shimon Peres said he was “mortified” by the “intolerable” attack on the teen.
Others are cautioning against making broad indictments of Israeli society, arguing that incidents of violence and intolerance are not widespread, despite constant tensions from the long-standing conflict between Arabs and Jews.
Vice Premier Moshe Yaalon described the two weekend attacks as “terrorist acts” that “run contrary to Jewish ethics and values.”
Critics charge that authorities are lax in pursuing Jews suspected of attacking Palestinians, noting few indictments or convictions in dozens of cases of assaults on Palestinians and their property every year.
BAGHDAD — ArmyGen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, insists that Washington still has an important role to play in Iraq, where he landed Tuesday, eight months after U.S. troops departed.
“We still retain significant investment and significant influence. But now it’s on the basis of a partnership and not on the basis of ownership,” he said.
Gen. Dempsey stressed that he came to build a dialogue with his Iraqi counterparts and explore expanding military ties, not to make demands. He also said he wants to discuss Iraq’s interest in training and military exercises with U.S. forces, as well as the possibility of arms sales.
Iran, Egypt to restore diplomatic ties
CAIRO — Iran and Egypt are moving toward restoring diplomatic relations that were severed more than three decades ago, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in an interview published Tuesday.
“Egypt is the cornerstone of the region and has a special stature in the Arab and Muslim countries and we want relations of friendship and brotherhood with it,” Mr. Salehi said, adding that Tehran hopes to restore “normal” relations with Cairo. “We will pursue this path, and restoration of relations depends only on protocol measures.”
Mr. Salehi said Egypt’s “revolution opened a new chapter in Egypt’s relations with the outside world,” adding that the Islamic republic welcomes Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi attending a Non-Aligned Movement summit later this month in Tehran.
Clashes between Syrian groups spill across border, killing two
TRIPOLI, Lebanon — Clashes in Lebanon between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime have killed two people and wounded 45, security officials said.
The army said nine Lebanese soldiers were injured in fighting that broke out Monday night and continued Tuesday in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli.
The mostly Sunni city also saw gun battles in May, when fighting over Syria killed eight people.
The latest clashes are between gunmen from a Sunni neighborhood and a rival district populated by Alawites, followers of an offshoot of Shiite Islam.
• From wire dispatches and staff reports
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