Three Palestinians were shot dead and four others wounded as thousands of Palestinian worshipers clashed with security forces on a “day of rage” over Israeli control of Islam’s third-holiest site. Israel’s army said a family of three Israeli settlers were stabbed to death and a fourth was wounded in the Israeli West Bank settlement of Neve Tsuf on Friday.
The army said in a statement that the four victims were Israeli civilians and that the assailant was also shot. It was not known whether he was alive.
The deaths came as thousands of Palestinians clashed with police after peaceful prayers around the Old City. Many had refused to enter the Noble Sanctuary and the al-Aqsa mosque in protest of new Israeli security checkpoints at two key entrances.
The sanctuary has for a week been subjected to increased security measures, including metal detectors, that many in Palestine see as an attempt to gain control of the site.
Worshipers outside the Old City were scattered soon after Friday prayers as Israeli police fired tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowds in Salah al-Din Street. Four Palestinians were reported injured.
Israel arrested 29 Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and more than 390 people were injured on Friday, according to a Haaretz report. The Red Crescent said most of the injured Palestinians inhaled tear gas while 38 were hit with live and rubber bullets.
Ahmad Abdul Salaam, who came to pray outside the Noble Sanctuary, said: “Putting these metal detectors at the entrance to our place of worship is like putting them at the entrance to our house. Are you really going to put me through a metal detector as I go into my house?”