Growing tensions around Israel’s actions at the al-Aqsa Mosque led to massive protests and violent crackdowns in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank. This, and an attack on settlers believed to have been spill-over violence, hs left six people dead, three Palestinians and three Israelis.
Israel has been tightening its controls at the al-Aqsa Mosque, among the holiest sites in Islam, and the installation of metal detectors and turnstiles around the compound has fueled outrage across the Muslim world, and major protests across Palestine.
The first death today was an 18-year-old Palestinian killed by a settler in East Jerusalem. Israeli police and security forces killed two others in separate incidents, one in East Jerusalem and the other in an undisclosed location in the West Bank.
The three Israelis were all from the same family, and stabbed to death when a knife-wielding attacker from a nearby Palestinian village stormed into their home. The attacker was identified as a 19-year-old Palestinian, as was reportedly shot, though his fate is unknown.
Several hundred other people, mostly Palestinians, were also wounded in the course of moves against the protests, which Israeli press labeled “riots.” In addition to unrest on the streets, this is fueling tensions between Israeli and Palestinian officials.
Israel’s far-right government is determined not to be seen as giving an inch on the mosque issue,while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has announced that he is freezing all contact with Israel, and will withhold communications until Israel agrees to cancel the measures against visitors to the mosque.
Abbas promised to pay treatment costs for all Palestinians wounded in the protests, and accused Israel of using a single terrorist attack as a pretext to try to lay claim over the mosque permanently.