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Israeli-Palestinian violence soars

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At least one Palestinian has been killed, and five other Palestinians, along with three Israelis, were wounded in a string of tit-for-tat attacks following a week of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.

Violent clashes have increased in frequency since Israeli security forces began to crackdown on Palestinian worshippers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem last month.

Four stabbing attacks – three allegedly by Palestinians, another by an Israeli suspect – took place across Israel and the occupied West Bank on Friday.

A Palestinian woman was critically wounded after being shot while trying to stab an Israeli security guard at a bus station in the northern Israeli city of Afula, according to the police spokesman.

Two Israelis – a policeman and a teenager – were also moderatly injured during similar stabbing attacks in Jerusalem and Kiryat Arba, a Jewish-only settlement in the occupied West Bank.

In Kiryat Arba, a Palestinian suspect was shot dead after stabbing a police officer.

Earlier in the day, an Israeli man stabbed four Palestinians in the southern Israeli city of Dimona. Police described his motives as “nationalistic”. The victims sustained moderate wounds.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that security forces have been deployed across the country, including “3,500 police officers out [in Jerusalem] to prevent sporadic attacks by lone wolves”.

In addition to extending a ban for men under the age of 45 who want to pray at the mosque on Friday, Israeli police have installed metal detectors at several entrances to Jerusalem’s Old City.

Over the past week, four Israelis have been killed along with 11 Palestinians, four of them after alleged attacks on Israelis, and three in Gaza on Friday.

According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, more than 1,600 Palestinians have been injured since October 3.

Eighty-seven have been injured with live ammunition, and 290 with rubber-coated steel bullets.

On Monday, Abdel Rahman Abdullah, a 13-year-old from the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, was shot and killed by Israeli forces, prompting further protests and unrest.

On Wednesday, two Palestinian protesters were shot and critically wounded by Israeli soldiers during a protest near the settlement of Beit El.

Footage appeared to show undercover Israeli soldiers dressed as protesters attacking men.

AL-AQSA TENSIONS

The incidents are the latest in a series of attacks, sparked by tensions over what Palestinians believe is Israeli encroachment of their holiest site in Jerusalem, the al-Aqsa Mosque.

On Wednesday evening, Netanyahu issued an order banning his ministers from visiting the sacred site.

Jews are prohibited from visiting the site, they call the Temple Mount, by Israel’s rabbinate, but hardliners have challenged the restriction.

Their visits to the al-Aqsa compound happen under heavy police protection, and are seen as provocative by Palestinians.

Palestinian worshippers fear the visits are the first stage in an eventual plan to partition the site. Al Jazeera


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