Jerusalem, Jul 23 (AFP) Two Palestinians died in clashes with Israeli forces as the army moved in to seal off an attacker’s home after violence over security measures at an ultra-sensitive holy site.
The UN Security Council will hold closed-door talks tomorrow about the spiralling violence after Egypt, France and Sweden sought a meeting to “urgently discuss how calls for de-escalation in Jerusalem can be supported”.
The deaths yesterday followed bloodshed on Friday, when a 19-year-old Palestinian killed three Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank and three Palestinians died in clashes with Israeli forces.
Yesterday, Palestinian youths hurled stones and petrol bombs as the army used a bulldozer to close off the 19-year- old attacker’s West Bank village and prepare his house for probable demolition.
Israel frequently punishes the families of attackers by razing or sealing their homes as a deterrent, although rights groups say this amounts to collective punishment.
Clashes also flared in east Jerusalem and other Palestinian villages in the West Bank near Jerusalem, police said, adding that anti-riot measures were used against them.
At the Qalandiya crossing between the West Bank and Jerusalem, at least eight Palestinians were wounded, the Palestinian health ministry said.
A Palestinian died of wounds suffered in clashes east of Jerusalem, the ministry said.
It said 17-year-old Oday Nawajaa was hit by Israeli live fire at Al-Azariya.
Another Palestinian, 18, died nearby when a petrol bomb exploded prematurely.
The violence was triggered by security measures including metal detectors at the entrance to the Haram al-Sharif compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, ahead of the main weekly Friday prayers.
Israel imposed the measures after a gun and knife attack killed two Israeli policemen on July 14.
The Palestinians reject the measures, viewing them as Israel asserting further control over the holy site.
The site in Jerusalem’s Old City that includes the revered Al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock has been a focal point for Palestinians.
In 2000, then Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon’s visit to the compound helped ignite the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, which lasted more than four years.
Israeli authorities say the July 14 attackers smuggled guns into the site and emerged from it to shoot the policemen.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.