WEST BANK (Palestine) – At least three Israelis have been stabbed to death and a fourth was wounded in a knife attack in the occupied West Bank settlement of Neve Tsuf.
The Israeli army said in a statement on Friday that the four victims were Israeli civilians and that the assailant was also shot. It was not known whether he was killed or wounded.
Israel Radio identified the attacker as a 19-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank village of Khobar near Ramallah.
The attack came after a day of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces over new security measures at al-Aqsa mosque compound – the third holiest site in Islam. Three Palestinians were killed and hundreds wounded in the clashes.
Israeli police 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.
In one incident, an Israeli soldier, who was carrying a firearm, kicked an unarmed worshipper while he was praying.
The protests come a week after a deadly shoot-out at the occupied East Jerusalem compound, which triggered tensions.
Tensions have risen since police installed the metal detectors in a move Palestinians and other Muslims perceive as a means for Israel to boost its control over the compound containing the al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock.
The controversy has resonated beyond Israel and the Palestinian territories, with the US and the UN Middle East envoy expressing concern.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spoke with US counterpart Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, urging the White House to intervene, the Palestinians’ official Wafa news agency reported. – Al-Jazeera