Palestinians denounce ‘Israeli escalation’ after Old City ban

Israeli police on Sunday took the unprecedented step of barring Palestinian residents of Jerusalem from entering the Old City after two stabbing attacks on Israelis by Palestinians.


The compound – known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif – is the holiest site in Judaism, and contains the al-Aqsa Mosque – the third holiest site in Islam.

The wounded were taken to various hospitals in Jerusalem, Samri said.

Police shot and killed the attacker, a spokesman said.

Only Palestinian residents, business owners and school children will be allowed access to the Old City, with the limitations expected to last for at least two days.

Media reports said three of the victims were members of the same ultra-Orthodox family on their way to pray at the Western Wall.

On Saturday Israeli troopers carried out a raid in the Palestinian metropolis Nablus, arresting seven individuals and wounded eight extra, Palestinian and Israeli sources stated.

Isaac Herzog, opposition leader in Parliament, was one of several politicians who blamed Netanyahu for not doing enough to keep Israelis safe. Islamist movement Hamas, in power in the Gaza Strip, praised the attack as “a heroic act of resistance”.

“The Palestinian government denounces the Israeli escalation policy by Israeli occupation authorities against our people in occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank“, it said in a statement after the imposition of the two-day ban.

The head of a West Bank Jewish settler council has set up a protest tent in front of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem, vowing not to leave until the government returns a sense of security to Israelis. Police forces are now looking for a possible second militant who had possibly taken part in the attacks around east Jerusalem.

A Palestinian man stabbed and wounded a 15-year-old Israeli in Jerusalem early on Sunday, police said.

The Israeli military said Saturday that arrests had been made, without providing details.

During the past few months, hundreds of Palestinian teenagers from Jerusalem have been arrested for throwing stones and firebombs at Israeli vehicles. Honest Arabs and Muslims tell us a very different story about what is happening at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, including Palestinian-Jordanian Mudar Zahran and Muslim American Qanta Ahmed. The settlers also closed main entrances of villages in northern West Bank and near Hebron in the south. They also attacked Palestinian cars and homes close to the settlers roads, Palestinian sources reported. On the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, an Israeli died in Jerusalem when his auto was hit by stones and crashed.

Such restrictions, imposed with brief breaks since September line with a series of Jewish holidays, had already caused raised tensions in the Old City.


Israel has promised to ensure the delicate arrangement at the holy site and insists it will not allow the status quo there to be changed. On Friday he wrote on his Facebook page: “What’s happening to our holy places, what’s happening to our mothers and sisters in Al-Aqsa mosque?”

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