Palestinian killed in West Bank clashes over Temple Mount
Israeli Arabs and Palestinians clash with Israeli security forces in east Jerusalem neighborhoods and elsewhere in West Bank; masked men block roads, burn tires, launch fireworks and throw Molotov cocktails and rocks; At-Tur resident: 'We're ready to fight to the death.'
A Palestinian man was killed during clashes in the West Bank on Saturday night, the fourth to die this weekend in violent protests against Israel's decision to set up metal detectors at the entrances to the Temple Mount, following a deadly terror attack at the site.
A 24-year-old Palestinian was killed in uncertain circumstances in the village of al-Eizariya east of Jerusalem in uncertain circumstances.
Following a relatively quiet day, violence resumed late Saturday near the epicenter of the current crisis in the Old City of Jerusalem. After hundreds of Muslim worshippers defiantly held their evening prayers outside the Jerusalem holy site, resuming their protest against security measures Israel imposed after a deadly attack there, clashes unfolded with police firing tear gas and water cannons to disperse protesters.
Violent clashes raged in Jerusalem's Old City by the Lions' Gate on Saturday evening—with protesters throwing stones, bottles and other objects at security forces—as rioting continued elsewhere in the capital and in various hotspots in the West Bank.
On route 444 near Tayibe rioters burned tires. Protesters set a tire on fire in Kafr Kanna as well and then pelted police forces that arrived at the scene with stones.
There were also clashes Saturday afternoon and evening in Qalandiya, At-Tur, Shuafat, Isawiya and in the village of Kabor, the home of the terrorist who killed an Israeli grandfather and his two adult children in the nearby settlement of Halamish on Friday.
Rioters also threw stones and glass bottles at Israeli forces near the Mount of Olives.
An IDF officer was lightly hurt when a stone hurt his upper body during clashes in Kafr Qaddum in the Samaria region of the West Bank.
Late Friday, masked men blocked several roads in At-Tur, burned tires, launched fireworks and threw stones at policemen and Jewish houses. Clashes also took place in the Silwan and Salman neighborhoods, with hundreds of protesters trying to reach the Lions' Gate.
Another terror attack took place Friday night when a 19-year-old Palestinian man snuck into the West Bank settlement of Halamish and attacked a family sitting down for Shabbat dinner, killing three. His attack was reportedly in response to the new security measures set up at the entry gates to the Temple Mount.
The added security measures has caused a wave of backlash in the Muslim community. On Friday, three young Palestinian protestors were killed during clashes with Israel Police at Jerusalem's Old City and wide scale protest prayers and riots happened in different areas of the capital.
Police reported that a masked person threw a bottle at the policemen in At-Tur, and that there were no casualties. The police dispersed the rioters using stun grenades and did not allow worshipers to approach the Lions' Gate. Instead, protestors remained on the main road and shouted: "Allah Akbar, we will sacrifice our lives for the Al-Aqsa Mosque."
Before prayers, two young men threw bottles at the policemen, who used stun grenades to disperse the worshipers. Several Molotov cocktails and stones were also thrown at the police in the Silwan neighborhood, as well as in the Salman neighborhood. The police also reported that four other suspects from the Old City were arrested overnight, including a young man, for participating in Friday's disturbances.
"We will not go about quietly after the killings of three martyrs. I think the war has begun. Starting now, we will weigh very serious decisions, even if they cost us our lives," said a resident of At-Tur, where one of the killed rioters is from.
He added that in east Jerusalem "there are many young people who are ready for a serious struggle to the death. We will not hesitate in these matters. The government must understand that it is playing with fire."
Following the deaths of the three Palestinians on Friday, a general strike was declared in east Jerusalem neighborhoods, and a partial strike was declared in the Old City.
Demonstrations were also taking place in Arab communities throughout Israel, among them the Arab city of Tayibe, with another demonstration planned there for Saturday evening. Additional demonstrations are planned in the Arab cities of Nazareth, Umm al-Fahm and Qalansawe.
Balad faction leader MK Jamal Zahalka (Joint List) said Saturday morning that Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan "insists on leaving the metal detectors at the Temple Mount, causing bloodshed. A different decision would have prevented Friday's killings."
There was a great deal of vigilance ahead of Friday's prayers, due to fears of disturbances following the installation of the metal detectors at the Temple Mount. The Security Cabinet initially sought to let the police decide whether to remove the added security measures, but the Jerusalem Police insisted the political echelon is responsible for making this decision.
Mohammed Sharaf, 17, was one of the Palestinians killed in east Jerusalem. Though circumstances surrounding his death remain unclear, Palestinian sources claim that the teen was shot by a "settler" who also wounded another Arab protestor.
Mohammad Hassan Abu Ghannam, who is in his 20s, was killed in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of At-Tur. A police spokesman said the police were looking into the circumstances of his death.
Mohammed Lafi, 18, was killed in clashes in the town of Abu Dis near Jerusalem. He was fatally wounded after being shot in the chest, succumbing to his wounds shortly after being rushed to a nearby hospital.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said 41 Palestinians in total were taken to hospitals or clinics with injures from live ammunition, rubber bullets and beatings. About 150 Palestinians were treated for tear gas inhalation. The IDF and the Border Police also arrested 17 people in the West Bank, as dozens of Palestinians were injured in several incidents on the Gaza Strip border, with participants burning tires and throwing rocks at the fence and IDF forces.