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Three Palestinians, three Israelis killed in violence over holy site

| | Jerusalem | in Sunday Pioneer

Escalating Israeli-Palestinian tensions over the Holy Land’s most contested shrine boiled over into violence that killed six people — three Palestinians in street clashes in Jerusalem and three Israelis in a stabbing attack at a West Bank settlement.

After nightfall, a Palestinian sneaked into a home in the Israeli settlement of Halamish in the West Bank and stabbed to death three Israelis, the head of Israel’s rescue service said on Friday.

An Israeli news site said those killed were two men and a woman who were having dinner at the time. The Army released footage showing a blood-covered kitchen floor.

Israel TV’s Channel 10 said the assailant was in his late teens and had posted on Facebook that he was upset by the events at the shrine. Eli Bin, the head of Israel’s rescue service MDA, said an off-duty soldier next door heard screams, rushed to the home and shot the attacker through a window. Bin said the attacker was wounded and evacuated to hospital.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, meanwhile, announced that he is freezing ties with Israel, dealing a blow to fledgling Trump administration efforts to try to renew long-dormant peace talks.

Abbas said contacts with Israel would be suspended on “all levels.” It was not immediately clear if this means long-standing security coordination between Israeli troops and Abbas’ forces will be halted.

At issue in the current round of violence are metal detectors Israel installed at the Jerusalem shrine earlier this week, in response to a deadly attack by Arab gunmen there.

The metal detectors are perceived by the Palestinians as an encroachment on Muslim rights and portrayed by Israel as a needed security measure following the attack that killed two Israeli policemen.                

 
 
 

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