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Israeli police kill suspected attacker

China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-17 07:29

JERUSALEM - Israeli security forces killed a suspected Palestinian attacker during an overnight raid in the West Bank, the Israeli army said on Sunday.

According to a statement from the Israel Defense Forces, the assailant was identified as 34-year-old Ammar Ahmed Khalil, who reportedly opened fire at the West Bank communities of Ateret and Nabi Saleh on Saturday.

The Palestinian was shot dead after attempting to resist arrest in a house in Nabi Saleh near Ramallah in the central West Bank, the statement said.

Another Palestinian was injured in the firefight.

The incident came two days after three Arab-Israeli gunmen shot and killed two Israeli police officers and injured another at Jerusalem's ultra-sensitive Haram al-Sharif compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount.

All three attackers were killed on the site.

Israeli police kill suspected attacker

Meanwhile, Israel reopened the holy site after it was closed following Friday's attack, but Muslim worshippers were refusing to enter due to new security measures including metal detectors and cameras.

The site includes the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

A call to prayer rang out from al-Aqsa, but Muslim worshippers held midday prayers outside the site in protest at the new security measures.

Dozens of worshippers gathered to pray at an entrance to the compound next to the Lions' Gate entry to the Old City.

"We reject the changes imposed by the Israeli government," said Sheikh Omar Kiswani, al-Aqsa director.

"We will not enter through these metal detectors."

Israel took the highly unusual decision of closing the al-Aqsa mosque compound for Friday prayers, triggering anger from Muslims and Jordan, the holy site's custodian.

The site remained closed on Saturday, while parts of Jerusalem's Old City were also under lockdown.

Israeli authorities said the closure was necessary to carry out security checks.

Police said on Sunday that so far two gates leading to the holy site had been opened, equipped with metal detectors, adding that more than 200 people had entered.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke of the security measures late on Saturday before departing for a trip to Paris, saying they were vital in establishing "complete control over what goes on there".

The Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount is central to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with Palestinians fearing Israel may one day seek to assert further control over it.

It is considered the third holiest site in Islam and the most sacred for Jews.

Jews are allowed to visit but not pray there to avoid provoking tensions.

Xinhua - Afp - Ap

(China Daily 07/17/2017 page11)

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