Calls for UN meeting as clashes continue in Jerusalem and West Bank

Jerusalem (CNN)Clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces broke out again across Jerusalem and the West Bank on Saturday, with the mood tremendously intense around Jerusalem’s Old City.

A Palestinian man died at a hospital Saturday evening after he was injured in clashes with Israeli forces earlier, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said.
The man was involved in a clash in the town of el-Eizariyah near Jerusalem, the official Palestinian news agency, WAFA, reported.
    Meantime, a rocket fired from northern Gaza exploded midair Sunday morning local time, with no injuries reported, the Israeli Defense Forces tweeted.
    With tensions rapidly rising, Palestinians called for more protests Sunday and the Israeli government planned meetings.
    One security session was expected to discuss the recent implementation of metal detectors at entrances to a key holy site in the Old City.
    The restrictions were imposed after two Israeli police officers were killed in a shooting last week just outside the Old City and Temple Mount, also known as the Noble Sanctuary. The area is one of the world’s most important religious sites, revered by Christians, Jews and Muslims.
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday suspended all contacts with Israel until the metal detectors are removed.
    “I announce the freezing of contacts with Israel on all levels and the suspension of coordination until all the measures taken at al-Aqsa mosque have stopped,” Abbas said in a message tweeted by his Fatah Movement.
    The Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary was closed after last Friday’s attack, and reopened Sunday for worshippers, visitors and tourists, with added security measures.

    It is home to the Western Wall — which was part of the walls around the Second Jewish Temple and is one of the holiest places for Jews to pray — and the Dome of the Rock, where Muslims believe the Prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven.
    Egypt, France and Sweden called Saturday for United Nations Security Council consultations Monday on ways to lower tensions in Jerusalem, Sweden’s chief political officer at the United Nations wrote on Twitter.
    The envoys of the Middle East Quartet — the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations — said in a statement they are “deeply concerned by the escalating tensions and violent clashes taking place in and around the Old City of Jerusalem.”
    The statement went on to say, “They strongly condemn acts of terror, express their regret for all loss of innocent life caused by the violence and hope for a speedy recovery to the wounded.”
    Noting the particular sensitivities surrounding the holy sites of Jerusalem, and the need to ensure security, the Quartet envoys called on all sides to show restraint, refrain from provocative actions and work toward de-escalating the situation.
    They added: “Envoys welcome the assurances by the Prime Minister of Israel that the status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem will be upheld and respected.”

    Victims identified

    Three people killed Friday in an attack in the Halamish settlement in the northern West Bank were identified by Israeli police on Saturday.
    Police Superintendent and spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said on Twitter, “Names of three Israelis murdered in Friday night attack by Palestinian terrorist, Yosef Solomon age 70, Chaya Solomon age 46, Elad Solomon age 36.”
    The Israeli army said the three Israelis were killed when a young Palestinian man from a nearby village breached the security of the settlement and carried out a stabbing attack. The Palestinian, who was shot and wounded at the scene, is in custody.
    A fourth Israeli was wounded in the attack, Magen David Adom, Israel’s ambulance service, told CNN.
    Three Palestinians were killed and many people reportedly were hurt during clashes Friday.
    Mohammad Fityani, a spokesman for the Palestinian Red Crescent in Jerusalem, told CNN its crews had dealt with 109 injured people by 3 p.m. local time, and that 72 of them were taken to the hospital.
    Tensions in Jerusalem’s Old City boiled over into skirmishes after the midday prayer.
    In one instance, a CNN team outside Herod’s Gate saw Israeli police start forcefully pushing worshipers back and pointing their weapons at them. The officers then fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse the worshipers and move them back.

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