BEIRUT, Lebanon – Three Palestinians were shot dead in Jerusalem Friday amid mass protests in which over 140 people have been reportedly injured after the Israeli police charged against demonstrators.
Clashes erupted between Palestinians protesters and Israeli security forces in Jerusalem’s Old City after thousands of Muslim worshipers gathered around a contested holy site – Al-Aqsa mosque – for evening prayers in protest of Israel’s government installing metal detectors and security cameras in the holy site, revered by all Abrahamic religions.
The government forces violently charged the tens of thousands of worshipers. These threw rocks and bottle to the officers, according to reports.
The rallies followed Muslim Friday prayers. Israeli police used live ammunition, tear gas and rubber-coated bullets against the demonstrators.
The three dead, among them a teenager, were fatally shot, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
A 17-year-old was killed in Ras al-Amud, outside the Old City, after being shot by a ‘settler,’ according to the Palestinian Authority’s official Wafa news agency. However, no shooter has been identified.
The teen was identified by the Health Ministry as Muhammad Mahmoud Sharaf, from the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society added that the youth was shot in the neck.
The Palestinian Red Crescent has put the number of those injured in East Jerusalem and the West Bank at some 140 people.
According to the Israeli Haaretz newspaper, the grand mufti of Jerusalem and the heads of Palestinian factions have discussed the tensions.
Mufti Muhammad Hussein told Haaretz: ‘We will continue to struggle against the metal detectors until the Israeli government takes them out of there. I call on the Muslim world to join the struggle to preserve [the Temple Mount] as an exclusive place for Islam.’
Israeli authorities installed the security devices after two officers were killed recently near the holy site.
Israeli news sources said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was meeting with ministers to discuss removing from the site new metal detectors that have enraged Palestinians.