Kerry urges "clarity" from Israel amid killings

A wounded Palestinian protester is evacuated during clashes with Israeli troops near the border between Israel and Central Gaza Strip

A wounded Palestinian protester is evacuated during clashes with Israeli troops near the border between Israel and Central Gaza Strip, Oct. 18, 2015.


JERUSALEM -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is to head to the Middle East this week in an effort to stem what he called on Monday the "senseless" violence between Israelis and Palestinians which has sent tensions soaring and claimed 50 lives during the last month alone.

CBS News' Jonathan Vigliotti said security was tight Monday at the main bus station in Jerusalem, with security forces implementing "stop and frisk" measures following the latest attack the previous evening by a gun and knife wielding man who killed an Israeli soldier and wounded 10 other people.

Video: Gunman opens fire at Israeli bus stati... 05:21
Israelis kill 3 Palestinians in alleged stabb... 01:51

The question is whether any of the bolstered security tactics can prevent scenes like the Sunday night attack at the main bus station in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba from playing out around Israel.

Surveillance video shows people running for cover at the heavily guarded bus station in the normally peaceful Israeli city. Officials said the Arab gunman shot and killed the Israeli soldier and wounded the others before being shot and killed himself by security forces.

Other amateur video shows what was initially thought to be a second attacker, but turned out to be an Eritrean migrant mistakenly shot by Israeli security forces. The man is seen being pinned to the ground with a metal stool as bystanders kick him. The man later died in hospital.

In the last three days alone there have been six separate attacks against Israelis, and a wave of protests. But the increased security measures have done little to curb the escalating violence.

On Sunday police tried to diffuse the mounting tension by blocking off Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. But there is concern the move could serve only to incite more anger.

The month of violence first began amid rumors that Israeli politicians wanted to completely block Palestinian access to the revered Al-Aqsa Mosque, which sits on the same compound known to Israelis as the Temple Mount.

The Israeli government has insisted repeatedly that it has no intention to change the status quo for visitation rights at the site holy to both religions, and Secretary Kerry on Monday insisted there was no need for an international monitoring force at the site, as proposed by the French at the United Nations.

"We don't contemplate any change, but nor does Israel," Kerry said Monday during a visit to Madrid.

"Israel understands the importance of that status quo. What is important is to make sure everybody understands what that means. We are not seeking some new change. We are not seeking outsiders or others to come in," he said in reference to the French proposal.

Violence in Israel leads to troop deployment 06:31

What Kerry did call for was "clarity" from Israel on its stance regarding Al-Aqsa, and an urgent effort by both sides to calm the violence.

Kerry is to meet this week with Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian leaders to try and "find a way of making certain that everybody is clear with what is happening with respect to the Temple Mount."

Stabbings have been the hallmark of the attacks in Israel but as more guns are being used, Israeli civilians are taking matters into their own hands.

The Krav Gun Shop and Shooting Range in Jerusalem was packed Sunday as Israelis clamored to buy guns.

Jerusalem resident Aryeh Freidman was among those applying for permits and shooting tutorials.

"I think it's important in these cases to have a means of self defense," he told Vigliotti.

An employee at the gun shop told CBS News they've had hundreds of requests for guns in the last week alone. He said even if they were open 24 hours a day, they couldn't keep up with the current level of demand.