Friday, October 30, 2020

Israeli Police Close off Jerusalemís Old City

By Amy Mac - October 04, 2015
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Jerusalem] [West Bank]

Israeli police have closed off the Old City of Jerusalem to Palestinians for at least 48 hours after two Israelis were killed and three injured in one confirmed and one alleged stabbing attack.     

In an unprecedented move, the Israeli army announced that only Israeli citizens, residents of the area, tourists, business people and students of the Old City are permitted to enter.

Alongside the closure of the Old City, police announced that only male Palestinian worshippers aged 50 or over would be allowed to pray on Temple Mount. There are no restrictions on women. Entry to Temple Mount will only be through the Lion's Gate.

The announcement follows the killing of Palestinian Fadi Alloun, 19, by Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem, after he allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli teen early Sunday morning.

Palestinians have rejected the Israeli report, citing video evidence to allege that he was attacked by a group of Israelis and was trying to escape before being shot.  


Hours earlier, on Saturday night, two Israeli men were killed and a woman and her son injured in a stabbing attack by a Palestinian man in East Jerusalem's Old City.


The Palestinian attacker, Muhannad Halabi, 19, was shot dead by an Israeli police officer at the scene.  


According to Palestinian media, Israeli forces later raided the Hallabi family home in Surda, near Ramallah, intending to demolish it.

Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative (PNI), told the Palestine Monitor that the spate of Palestinian violence against Israelis over the last few days  is “the only natural response” to Israel’s systematic repression of the Palestinian people.

“Palestinians are objecting to the repression and abuse of human rights. When Israel plants repression they will harvest rage on the Palestinian side.”

He went on to echo the comments made by Saeb Erikat, PLO secretary general, who told Palestinian radio Sunday morning that the outbreak of violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank is reminiscent of the second intifada.

“Israel is practicing unprecedented violence, and I believe the situation reminds us of the beginning of the intifada but it is mainly popular non violent resistance… It is an escalation towards a new popular uprising,” Barghouti said.  

Following the Jerusalem attacks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called an urgent Diplomatic-Security Cabinet meeting for Monday evening, to discuss wide-scale counterterrorism operations.


The attacks in Jerusalem follow recent clashes at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the surrounding Old City, as well as the murder of a Jewish settler couple in the town of Nablus in the occupied West Bank.


Sunday morning saw violent clashes break out across the West Bank in protest of the ban on non-resident from Palestinians from entering the Old City.


According to Palestinian news sources, more than 100 Palestinians have been wounded by gunfire and teargas in clashes with the army as well as reported attacks by settlers.


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