A day after a Palestinian youth stabbed and killed three Jerusalem residents, police took steps Monday to keep Palestinians out of the city for their own protection by blocking the entry of Arabs from the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Another stabbing was reported Monday when a Palestinian delivery boy at a grocery store attacked a meat truck driver, slightly injuring him. Police were searching for the assailant, believed to have run to his nearby village on the outskirts of the city.
Additional police patrols were out in the streets, especially in neighborhoods bordering on Palestinian districts. Some observers said that for a city that Israelis believe is united physically if not psychologically, the dual approach of barring Palestinians from outside _ many of whom work in Jewish neighborhoods _ and keeping close watch on those who live within has given the town a distinctively split appearance.
Justice Minister Dan Meridor called for tighter security so residents can move freely from one side of the city to the other.
"We have to make an effort to increase the security even more, to overcome this crazy terrorism in order to avoid a situation in which they win," Meridor said. "A victory for them is that Jews won't go to East Jerusalem and Arabs won't come to West."
The daily Maariv urged the government to permanently ban Palestinians from entering Israel for fear of further anti-Jewish violence.
"A substantial problem exists," the newspaper said.
Politicians called for a variety of security measures, including stepped-up searches of Palestinians in the streets and authority for police to fire at Arabs believed to be about to do harm. Several commentators suggested that one of the victims of Sunday's stabbings, an armed off-duty police officer, could have saved himself had he shot to kill instead of firing at the assailant's legs.
Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, in an appearance before a parliamentary committee, charged that the Jerusalem violence is part of a plan by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to divert attention from the Persian Gulf crisis.
"We don't want to get used to it," Shamir said. "Most unfortunately, it is the reality."
Shamir, who has criticized the U.N. Security Council's condemnation of the way Israel dealt with the Temple Mount incident, called the Security Council a tool of the PLO, according to Israel Radio.
(On Monday, Shamir narrowly avoided being toppled by Israel's parliament over his government's hard-line policies. His Likud Party coalition defeated a no-confidence motion. The motion by Shimon Peres' rival Labor Party failed 53 to 51.)
For the moment, Palestinians are being barred from Jerusalem on the grounds they could be targeted for revenge attacks. Palestinians in cars identified by blue license plates were turned back at army checkpoints on Jerusalem's outskirts. Groups shouting "Death to Arabs!" chased Palestinian construction workers Sunday.
The stabbings had at least one immediate impact on the daily lives of Jerusalem's residents: Parents drove their children to school instead of letting them walk.
_ Information from Reuters was used in this report.