Giovani palestinesi al funerale di un bambino di 13 anni ucciso negli scontri a Betlemme. Foto di Harriet Salem/VICE News
Another year, another stretch of devastating violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories — with more than 100 people killed in just the last three months.
In March the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, secured a fourth term in office with a dramatic rightward swing in the final days of election campaigning. The resulting government, formed in coalition with the Zionist Jewish Home party and ultra-Orthodox parties, was Israel's most right-wing ever.
With little hope for renewed peace talks, Palestinian frustrations rose. In July, after a period of relative quiet, the conflict was again thrust to the fore after an arson attack on a family home in West Bank killed three members of a Palestinian family including an 18-month old baby. The word "revenge" was scrawled in Hebrew on the wall alongside a Star of David, denoting it as a "price tag attack" — attacks against Palestinians carried out by Jewish extremists in revenge for actions taken by the Israeli government against settlers.
Related: In Photos: The Anatomy of an Israeli Settler Price Tag Attack in the West Bank
The arson, combined with tensions over a sacred religious site known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and Jews as Temple Mount, quickly spilled over into widespread violence. In October Palestinian gunmen killed an Israeli couple in front of their children in the West Bank. The shooting was the first in three months of near daily attacks by Palestinians and counter-attacks by Israeli forces, in a surge in bloodshed that the United Nations said was "dangerous in the extreme."
By the year's end at least 21 Israelis and 141 Palestinians had been killed, according to Israeli and Palestinian government figures. Two thirds of the dead Palestinians were shot by Israeli security forces while committing attacks, the rest were killed during protests. With neither Palestinian nor Israeli leaders able to control the violence, 2016 could well be equally bloody.
Right-wing and pro-settler groups celebrate Jerusalem Day in the Old City of Israel's capital. (Photo by Harriet Salem/VICE News)
Hebrew graffiti of the word "Revenge" and the Star of David on the wall of a Palestinian home burned down in a price-tag arson attack. Three members of the Dawabsheh family were killed in the blaze, including an 18-month old baby. (Photo Harriet Salem/VICE News)
Left: Noble Sanctuary, known to Jews as Temple Mount, has been at the center of recent tensions. Right: Religious Jews watch as a Palestinian man is arrested in Jerusalem's Old City. (Photos by Harriet Salem/VICE News)
Palestinian men pray in a Jerusalem street. During periods of tension the Israeli police ban men aged between 16 and 55 from entering the al-Aqsa compound, within the holy site known as Noble Sanctuary or Temple Mount, for Friday prayers. (Photo by Harriet Salem/Vice News)
Left: A Palestinian youth holds a slingshot during clashes with Israeli security forces in West Bank. Right: Marbles, rocks and petrol bombs are among the weapons frequently used by Palestinians against Israeli soldiers. (Photo by Harriet Salem/VICE News)
A Palestinian youth prepares to throw a rock in a slingshot during clashes with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank. (Photo by Abed Al Hashlamoun/EPA)
Masked Palestinian youths at the funeral of a 13 year-old boy killed in clashes in Bethlehem. Some carry knives and stun grenades. (Photo by Harriet Salem/VICE News)
A Palestinian man is treated for severe tear gas inhalation by a Palestine Red Crescent medical team in Ramallah. (Photo by Harriet Salem/Vice News)
A man looks at a display handgun in a Jerusalem store. Applications for gun licenses soared in Israel during October after the government relaxed the rules for firearms permits amid a wave of attacks by Palestinians. (Photo by Harriet Salem/Vice News)
Young members of Ateret Cohanim, a far-right Zionist movement, hold shiva in Jerusalem's Old City for one of their members killed in a stabbing attack by a Palestinian man. (Photo by Harriet Salem/VICE News)
Malachi Rosenfeld's mother holds a photo of her son. He was killed in a drive-by shooting attack by three Palestinian men while returning to his home in a West Bank settlement. (Photo Harriet Salem/VICE News)
Right: An Israeli soldier stands amid a litter of rocks during clashes with Palestinian protesters in West Bank. Left: A Palestinian youth poses with his face covered by a Keffiyeh during clashes in Ramallah. (Photos by Harriet Salem/VICE News)
Follow Harriet Salem on Twitter: @HarrietSalem
Related: In Photos: Riding Along With Medics on the Frontline of Clashes in the West Bank