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More Than 100 Palestinians Reported Wounded as Clashes Erupt in Jerusalem

Palestinians took the streets to protest a ban on entering Jerusalem's Old City imposed by Israeli authorities after a pair of stabbing attacks.

by Atoosa Moinzadeh
Oct 4 2015, 4:15pm

Photo par Abed al Hashlamoun / EPA

Clashes erupted on Sunday between Palestinian youths and Israeli security forces across the West Bank, with more than 100 Palestinians reported wounded after a violent stretch in Jerusalem that included a pair of stabbings that targeted Israelis.

Palestinians took to the streets to protest a ban on entering Jerusalem's Old City imposed by Israeli authorities after a pair of stabbing attacks left two ultra-Orthodox men dead and three others wounded. Soldiers reportedly dispersed the demonstrators with teargas, stun grenades, and live ammunition.

Confrontations broke out in several Palestinian refugee camps, at two Israeli security checkpoints, and in the Isawiyya neighborhood, the home of a Palestinian man was shot to death by police after he stabbed a 15-year-old Israeli early on Sunday in Jerusalem's Musrara neighborhood, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

The attacker was a 19-year-old identified as Muhannad Halabi, a law student whose Facebook profile had a post Friday night stating that the Palestinian people would not accept Israel's attacks on the al-Aqsa mosque, a contested holy site in Jerusalem that has been the site of frequent confrontations in recent weeks.

"I do not think the people will accept humiliation," Halabi's post read. "The people will rise up; indeed, we are rising up."

Some Palestinians cast doubts on Israeli reports of the stabbing, claiming that the assailant was attacked by a group of Jews and shot by police without reason. Palestinians have also reported being attacked by Jewish settlers.

Related: 2 Dead, 2 Wounded After Palestinian Man Goes on Rampage in Jerusalem

On Saturday, police officers fatally shot another attacker in the Old City. The man stabbed an off-duty Israeli soldier and a rabbi, according to police.

Tensions have flared in Jerusalem in recent weeks between Israelis and Palestinians, with clashes clustered around the disputed al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which includes the site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

There have been several days of Muslim protesters barricading themselves inside the mosque as they hurl stones and fireworks at police. The unrest has spread to neighborhoods just east of Jerusalem.

While Israel has pledged to maintain Muslim prayer rights at al-Aqsa, young Muslim men have been frequently banned from entering the area.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who just arrived in Israel after returning from New York, was scheduled to meet with his security chiefs later on Sunday to discuss rising violence in East Jerusalem. 

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