3 Palestinians, 3 Israelis killed in violence over holy site

AP PHOTO
Palestinians run away from tear gas thrown by Israeli police officers outside Jerusalem's Old City, Friday. Israel police severely restricted Muslim access to a contested shrine in Jerusalem's Old City on Friday to prevent protests over the installation of metal detectors at the holy site.

AP PHOTO Palestinians run away from tear gas thrown by Israeli police officers outside Jerusalem's Old City, Friday. Israel police severely restricted Muslim access to a contested shrine in Jerusalem's Old City on Friday to prevent protests over the installation of metal detectors at the holy site.

JERUSALEM — Escalating Israeli-Palestinian tensions over the Holy Land’s most contested shrine boiled over into violence on Friday that killed six people — three Palestinians in street clashes in Jerusalem and three Israelis in a stabbing attack at a West Bank settlement.

After nightfall, a Palestinian sneaked into a home in the Israeli settlement of Halamish in the West Bank and stabbed to death three Israelis.

The military said the attacker apparently jumped over the fence and infiltrated the family’s home, surprising them as they ate the traditional Sabbath evening meal. It said the Palestinian killed a man and two of his children, while a woman was wounded and taken to hospital. The man’s grandchildren were present but not harmed, it said.

The army released footage showing a blood-covered kitchen floor. It said senior military officials are meeting overnight to discuss how to proceed.

A military spokesman called the Palestinian attack “a massacre.”

Israel TV’s Channel 10 said the assailant was in his late teens and had posted on Facebook that he was upset by the events at the Jerusalem shrine. Eli Bin, the head of Israel’s rescue service MDA, said an off-duty soldier next door heard screams, rushed to the home and shot the attacker through a window. Bin said the wounded attacker was taken to a hospital.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, meanwhile, announced that he is freezing ties with Israel, dealing a blow to fledgling Trump administration efforts to try to renew long-dormant peace talks.

Abbas said contacts with Israel would be suspended on “all levels.” It was not immediately clear if this means long-standing security coordination between Israeli troops and Abbas’ forces will be halted.