Violent clashes in Jerusalem leave several dead, more than 100 wounded

Jerusalem's holiest site closed for prayers after shooting
Jerusalem's holiest site closed for prayers after shooting 01:20

24 July, 2017

A man, reportedly aged 70, and two of his children, said to be in their thirties, were murdered, while the man's wife, reportedly aged 68, was seriously wounded. Another 68-year-old woman was hospitalised with stab wounds to her back.

The army released footage showing a blood-covered kitchen floor.

The attacker had posted on Facebook that he was upset by events in Jerusalem, according to Israel's Channel 10.

According to a preliminary investigation, the terrorist, a Palestinian in his late teens from a nearby village, arrived in the settlement on foot armed with a knife, climbed a fence and chose the last house on a street near it. It said he was shot, but his condition was not initially known.

Israel's army confirmed it was involved in clashes in Abu Dis.

It was not immediately clear who fired the shots, with unconfirmed media reports that an Israeli settler was responsible in Sharaf's death.

The compound is considered the most sacred site for Jews, who call it Temple Mount and is also the third holiest site in Islam. It is also Judaism's holiest site, once home to biblical Temples.

Speculation had been mounting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might order the metal detectors removed before this week's prayers.

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The Palestinians died in incidents following Friday prayers.

Israeli policemen restrict access for men under 50 to Old City for Friday prayers.

Mapim president Azmi Abdul Hamid said as a result, he handed over a memorandum protesting the Israeli violence to the embassy via a security guard.

The measure was expected to trigger more anger at the volatile site.

Officials say protests were expected at the Old City site where Israeli police have recently installed security devices, after two police officers were killed there by Arab gunmen.

But by early afternoon, with police mobilising extra units and placing barriers to carry out checks at entrances to the Old City, there had been little serious violence.

Israeli police said the weapons were smuggled into the holy site which was then used as the launchpad for the attack. Aware of the potentially explosive religious and political sensitivities, Israel allowed the Waqf to remain in charge of day-to-day affairs inside the mosque compound under the aegis of Jordan.

It lies in east Jerusalem, seized by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed in a move never recognised by the worldwide community.

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