At least three Palestinians have been killed, according to local media, and hundreds more injured amid mass protests over new Israeli security measures at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
In the first incident, an Israeli settler killed an 18-year-old Palestinian man in the Ras al-Amud neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
The death of Muhamd Mahmoud Sahraf was confirmed by Israeli security and the Red Crescent.
A second Palestinian was also confirmed killed by live fire during the demonstrations that followed Friday prayers, officials at a hospital in Jerusalem told AP news agency.
The Palestinian Authority also reported that a third man was killed during clashes with Israeli forces in the West Bank.
The two other fatalities were identified as Muhamad Mahmoud Khalaf and Muhamad Hasan Abu Ghanam.
Israeli police also fired live ammunition, tear gas and rubber-coated bullets at Palestinians protesting against the new measures, including the barring of Muslim men under the age of 50 from the holy site and the installation of metal detectors.
In one incident, an Israeli soldier, who was carrying a firearm, kicked an unarmed worshipper while he was praying.
The protests come a week after a deadly shoot-out at the occupied East Jerusalem compound, which triggered tensions.
The rallies started after the Muslim Friday prayers, which took place around midday local time.
At the conclusion of the Isha evening prayers, clashes erupted again with Israeli forces firing stun grenades at the crowd, Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett, who was reporting outside al-Aqsa, said.
At least 140 Palestinians have been injured in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.
Earlier in the day, police swarmed into Jerusalem’s Arab neighbourhoods, particularly in and around the walled Old City where the shrine is located.
At least 3,000 Israeli police and border police units had been deployed to the area, according to a police spokesman.
Israel’s security cabinet said that Israeli police would decide when to remove metal detectors and turnstiles installed at the compound last week – a disappointing statement to Palestinians who view the measures as collective punishment and an infringement on the status quo, which gives Muslims religious control over the compound and Jews the right to visit, but not pray there.
Israel tightened its grip on the compound after two Israeli security officers were killed in an alleged attack by three Palestinians, who were killed by Israeli police following the violence.
On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received recommendations from different sectors of Israel’s security services on the metal detectors.
Israel’s internal security service, Shin Bet, said the barriers should be removed, while Jerusalem police insisted they stay.
Palestinian member of the Knesset Mohammad Barakeh told a meeting of Palestinian leaders in Jerusalem early on Friday that the security cabinet’s decision is a “political game”.
“The Israeli government’s [decision] of referring the matter to the police is a political game in order to absolve Netanyahu of any responsibility by implying that this is not a political issue, rather a security issue, but the truth is that this is a political decision.”
The leaders rejected Israel’s measures and vowed to continue to hold prayers outside the compound until the barriers are removed.
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