What Happened: An explosion near an Israeli settlement in the West Bank has killed one civilian and injured two others, Haaretz reported Aug. 23.
Why It Matters: The attack could result in a more forceful Israeli response in the West Bank and possibly the Gaza Strip, which could lead to renewed unrest in the Palestinian territories and raise the risk of another military escalation. If Israel attributes the explosion to Hamas or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, it will increase the possibility of a retaliatory strike against the Gaza Strip, which would likely elicit a response by local militant groups.
Background: Violence in the West Bank and Jerusalem has been spiking during the past several weeks, and it has included the killing of an Israeli soldier on Aug. 8, a stabbing in Jerusalem on Aug. 15 and a vehicular assault targeting civilians in the West Bank on Aug. 16. Israeli officials have already warned of a widespread outbreak of violence in the West Bank in the lead-up to the Sept. 17 general elections.