Israel kills three Palestinians, injures 240 and empty ‘Al Aqsa’ of worshippers
In the latest flare-up of tension between Israel and the Palestinians, three Palestinians were killed and 240 injured by Israeli fire on the 21st Friday of protests near the Gaza border, as part of the ‘Return March’ to break the siege of Jerusalem and Al Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem.
According to medical sources, Karim Abu Fattair (30) was killed after being shot by the Israelis east of al-Bureij, while another was reported dead and 240 others were injured in Gaza.
In the meantime, Al Arabiya news channel reported that a Palestinian was shot dead in occupied Jerusalem, on the pretext of trying to carry out a stabbing attack.
Israeli forces reinforced troops in the area of the claimed attack and said they were searching for other suspects there, and removed all worshipers from the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The compound is a frequent flashpoint of Israeli-Palestinian tensions., which have surged in the past few months.
At least 170 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip by Israeli fire in weekly border demonstrations. Israel says Hamas, the militant group that rules Gaza, is using the protests as cover for cross-border attacks. Hamas denies this.
Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed in 2014 and a bid by the US administration to restart them has so far shown little sign of progress.
Palestinians want to establish a state in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, territories that Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.
Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005, annexed East Jerusalem in a move not recognized internationally and maintains control over more than half the West Bank, where the Palestinians have limited self-rule.
Meanwhile, Egypt is finalizing details of a long-term truce deal between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, an Egyptian security source said on Thursday, amid easing tensions on the border of the enclave where some two million Palestinians live.
Cairo has brokered an interim truce that has allowed commercial goods into Gaza ahead of the Eid al-Adha feast which starts next week. Read more