Three Palestinians shot dead in West Bank

Clashes were also reported in Jerusalem after Israeli authorities barred Muslims from performing Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Three Palestinians shot dead in West Bank

World Bulletin / News Desk

Three Palestinians were shot dead in the occupied West Bank on Friday in separate incidents involving both the Israeli army and a civilian who appeared to be a Jewish settler, medics and witnesses said.

Witnesses said one man was shot dead by an apparent settler near the city of Nablus when a Jewish settler opened fire on Muslim worshippers.

Azmi Azzam, 20, died of injuries sustained when a Jewish settler opened fire on Palestinian worshippers as they left a mosque in southern Nablus early Friday afternoon, Palestinian Health Ministry spokesman Taref Ashour told Anadolu Agency.

Also in Nablus, a 22-year-old Palestinian was killed when Israeli forces opened fire on a pro-Gaza demonstration near an army checkpoint, Palestinian Health Ministry spokesman Taref Ashour said.

Another Palestinian was killed shortly after during clashes with the military. A third Palestinian was killed in Beit Ummar near the flashpoint city of Hebron, medics said.

The Israeli army had no immediate comment on the violence that coincided with rising tensions tied to the bloody, 18-day-old conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in the nearby Gaza Strip.

Jerusalem clashes

Israeli undercover police opened fire on Palestinian protesters in East Jerusalem on Friday after trying to arrest a Palestinian youth.

Israeli police deployed thousands of personnel and erected roadblocks on major roads leading to Jerusalem's Old City.

Clashes erupted following Friday noon prayers in the Wadi Joz neighborhood near the Old City.

Three Israeli undercover police, posing as Arab protesters, attempted to arrest a Palestinian man as he clashed with Israeli soldiers.

The three Israeli police agents, however, were attacked by Palestinian protesters.

The three men shot at Palestinian demonstrators and into the air after their cover was blown, with three other undercover police joining them. Together, they managed to arrest the Palestinian man.

No casualties were reported as a result of the melee.

Israel bars young Palestinians from praying at Al-Aqsa

Thousands of young Palestinians took to the streets outside Jerusalem's Old City for the last Friday prayers of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan after Israel barred them from entering the city's Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, a Palestinian official has said.

"Today, only 30,000 Palestinians were able to perform Friday prayers inside Al-Aqsa, compared to 400,000 on the last Friday of Ramadan last year," an official at Jerusalem's Endowment Authority, requesting anonymity, told Anadolu Agency.

"The mosque's courtyard was practically empty of worshippers," he said.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld had said on Twitter earlier that all Muslim worshippers under 50 years old would be barred from entering the Al-Aqsa mosque complex.

Israel stepped up security around the mosque complex's perimeter on Friday, prompting thousands of Palestinian worshippers to perform prayers outside the Old City's gates, according to eyewitnesses.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980 – in a move never recognized by the international community – claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Temmuz 2014, 17:25