At least three Palestinians reportedly have been killed by gunfire, and more than a hundred injured, in clashes with Israeli forces on Friday, during large-scale protests against enhanced security measures at the Al-Aqsa mosque, according to reports from the Ma’an News Agency and Al-Jazeera.
“An Israeli settler killed an 18-year-old Palestinian man in the Ras al-Amud neighborhood,” Al-Jazeera reports. Hospital officials confirmed a second Palestinian was killed by live fire during the demonstrations after Friday prayer, and a third man died during clashes in the West Bank.
Thousands of Palestinian Muslims marched toward the mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday, denouncing security devices Israeli officials installed at the mosque after an attack near the Lions’ Gate entrance to the Old City left two Israeli police officers dead last week. In response to Friday’s protests, at least 3,000 members of Israeli forces were deployed, and Israeli officials banned men under age 50 from entering the Old City.
The Palestinian Muslims gathered for Friday midday prayer at the Lions’ Gate—where Israeli police installed metal barricades to block access—and AFP reports that police “fired stun grenades and tear gas towards protesters outside the Old City, while Palestinians threw stones and other objects at security forces in some areas.”
For the past week, Palestinians have come to pray at the Lions’ Gate entrance and, because of the newly-installed devices, have refused to enter the mosque, which is part of the holy site known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount.
Following the violence on Friday, Jewish Voice for Peace released a statement outlining the ongoing battle for control of and access to the sacred site:
As the Ma’an News Agengy explained:
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