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Three Palestinians Killed, Fatah Leaders Arrested in Day of Rage | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Palestinian protesters hurl stones towards Israeli troops during clashes near Qalandiya checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Reuters

Tel Aviv- Following the Israeli authorities’ insistence on besieging the Aqsa Mosque Compound via dozens of electronic security gates and the rejection of Palestinians to go through them, clashes broke out on Friday between citizens and the occupation forces in East Jerusalem.

The unrest spread to the rest of the Palestinian territories, turning Friday into a day of rage.

The repression of the demonstrations and the clashes resulted in the injury of about 200 Palestinians and dozens of Israeli soldiers and the death of three young men.

Sky news reported that three Israelis were stabbed to death in Halamish south of Ramallah while the Israeli ambulance service said that two other Israelis died under similar circumstances in a settlement in the West Bank.

Although Israel and Jordan have agreed to form a joint committee, with the participation of the Jerusalem Endowments Department, to make arrangements to end the dispute, the Israeli authorities insisted on sticking to their punitive measures and the Palestinians responded with protests under the slogan “Day of Rage to Protect the Aqsa.”

Israel’s security cabinet said that police would decide when to remove metal detectors and turnstiles installed at the compound last week -a disappointing statement to Palestinians who view the measures as collective punishment and an infringement on the status quo, which gives Muslims religious control over the compound and Jews the right to visit, but not pray there.

Israel tightened its grip on the compound after two Israeli security officers died in an alleged attack by three Palestinians, who were killed by Israeli police following the violence.

On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received recommendations from different sectors of Israel’s security services on the metal detectors.

Israel’s internal security service, the Shin Bet, said the barriers should be removed, while Jerusalem police insisted they stay.

Three incidents resulted in the death of three Palestinians during Friday’s protests. In the first incident, an Israeli settler killed an 18-year-old Palestinian man in the Ras al-Amud neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

The death of Mohammed Mahmoud Sahraf was confirmed by Israeli security and the Red Crescent.

A second Palestinian was also confirmed killed by live fire during the demonstrations that followed Friday prayers, officials at a hospital in Jerusalem said.

The Palestinian Authority also reported that a third man was killed during clashes with Israeli forces in the West Bank.

The two other fatalities were identified as Mohammed Mahmoud Khalaf and Mohammed Hassan Abu Ghanam.

Israeli police also fired live ammunition, tear gas and rubber-coated bullets at Palestinians protesting against the new measures, including the barring of Muslim men under the age of 50 from the holy site and the installation of metal detectors.

Earlier in the day, police swarmed into Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods, particularly in and around the walled Old City where the shrine is located.

At least 3,000 Israeli police and border police units had been deployed to the area, according to a police spokesman.

In this context, Over the past week, there have been daily demonstrations and clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians.

On Friday, a Palestinian advocacy group said 10 prominent Palestinian activists had been detained in Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Prisoners Club said Hatem Abdel Khader, the Jerusalem leader of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, was among those arrested.