Friday, July 28, 2017

Peaceful prayers at Jerusalem holy site, West Bank violence

JERUSALEM (AP) — Muslim prayers at a major Jerusalem shrine ended peacefully Israeli police said Friday but violence continued in the West Bank where a Palestinian was killed attacking soldiers as forces were on high alert following two weeks of violence over the sacred site, holy to both Muslims and Jews.
Tensions have been running high at the site since Arab gunmen killed two police officers there on July 14, prompting Israel to install security devices at entrances. The move outraged Muslims and sparked some of the worst street clashes in years and threatened to draw Israel into conflict with other Arab and Muslim nations.
Firas Dibs, an official from the Jordanian religious body that administers the sacred site, said tens of thousands attended Friday prayers.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said prayers at the Jerusalem shrine ended without incident. There were some sporadic low-level scuffles between Palestinians and Israeli forces nearby but nothing on the scale of recent violence.
A Palestinian was later was shot and killed after he ran brandishing a knife at troops in the West Bank, Israel’s military said. It said no soldiers were injured in the incident at the Gush Etzion Junction, a busy intersection south of Jerusalem that has been the site of multiple Palestinian attacks over the past two years when the current round of violence erupted, in part over tensions at the Jerusalem holy site.
Palestinians threw fire bombs, rocks and rolled burning tires at soldiers who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets at several protests in the West Bank, the military said.
Last Friday a Palestinian infiltrated a Jewish settlement in the West Bank and entered a home where he stabbed three people to death and wounded a fourth as they ate the traditional Sabbath meal and celebrated the arrival of a new addition to the family. READ MORE