Israel limits Palestinian access to Jerusalem’s Old City

Palestinians not residing in Old City barred for two days following deadly knife attack on Israelis

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Palestinians clash with Israelis in Jerusalem Old City

Palestinians who do not reside in Jerusalem’s Old City have been barred from entering the area for two days after two Israelis were killed by a Palestinian knifeman in the district on Saturday.

The attacker stabbed a man, two women and a toddler on Saturday night amid. One woman was in critical condition and the toddler was slightly wounded, police said. Two Israeli men died of their wounds.

Israeli police shot dead 19-year-old Palestinian Muhannad Halabi in the city’s Bab Al-Amoud area on Sunday morning after he killed two Israeli men and injured another two in a stabbing attack. The attacker reportedly stole a gun from one of the wounded and fired several shots at police and tourists before being killed by Israeli police.

Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad later issued a statement claiming the attacker was a member of the group.

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu called for an emergency meeting with security officials to be held on Sunday and a cabinet meeting on Monday to implement severe measures after the latest incident.

The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay E. Mladenov condemned the incident in his post on Twitter.

"I condemn the brutal terror attack that killed two Israelis in Jerusalem, call on all to stand firm against incitement, prevent escalation," he posted.

The attack came amid growing violence in the occupied territories of East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Over 10 Palestinians in the West Bank were injured when Israeli soldiers conducted a raid in eastern Nablus to hunt down the killers of the Jewish settler couple who were shot dead on Thursday while they were traveling between Elon Moreh and Itamar in their car.

Israeli soldiers then reportedly used rubber coated steel bullets and tear gas to disperse Palestinian protesters.

"They arrested eight people and conducted searches, entering properties by force and causing damage," a police officer told the AFP news agency.

The Palestinian Red Crescent stated that "10 people were wounded by live rounds to the legs or stomach and four others were wounded in beatings" by Israeli forces.

In the meantime, Palestinian People’s Defense Committees in the West Bank asked Palestinians to protect their villages and mobilize against attacks from Israelis, through loudspeakers and social media.

Following Saturday’s incident, Israeli police also raided the Al Aqsa Mosque compound and arrested 40 worshippers on the site.

Men under the age of 50 have also been banned from the compound, which is considered to be the third holiest place in Islam.

Israel annexed East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians hope to regain as a capital for their future state, and has been occupying West Bank since the Six-Day War in 1967. The occupation is seen illegal by the international community.

TRTWorld and agencies