Three die in clashes over Jerusalem mosque

Three Israelis and three Palestinians die in separate incidents

The stabbing comes as tensions surrounding a shrine - known as the Temple Mount to Jews and the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims - in Jerusalem reach a boiling point.

The Palestinian president has suspended all contacts with Israel until metal detectors near the al Aqsa mosque are removed. More than 200 Palestinians - the majority believed to be the perpetrators - and dozens of Israelis have been killed in the attacks.

Palestinian protests across Jerusalem and the West Bank on Friday left three Palestinians killed.

Ministers made a decision to leave the metal detectors in place, despite recommendations to remove them by the Shin Bet, Israel's internal security service, and other security organizations. Israeli media said the three dead were all members of the same family, two men aged 60 and 40 and a woman of 40.

Israel says it installed the metal detectors as a security measure, but the move has been widely perceived by Palestinians as a step towards Israel's takeover of the site - the third holiest in Islam.

She said Israel is promoting "an extremist right-wing" settler agenda in Jerusalem al-Quds, "which wishes to see the al-Aqsa compound become a Jewish site and to see Palestinians excluded from it".

Israeli policemen restrict access for men under 50 to Old City for Friday prayers.




Israel said the metal detectors would remain in place.

Crowds gathered outside Jerusalem's Old City found shops closed and streets around Damascus Gate, the entrance most heavily used by Palestinians, blocked.

The metal detectors will protect all visitors to the Mount, including Muslim worshipers.

"Current tensions open the door for further escalation in general amid growing Palestinian, Arab and Muslim anger over the violence and the new measures taken by the Israeli authorities", he said.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said four officers were injured in the sporadic clashes and the Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance service said at least 377 protesters had been hurt, some suffering from tear gas inhalation.

Since 1967, Israel has increasingly cut off east Jerusalem from its West Bank hinterland, leaving the city's Arab residents without a political leadership. "It's a holy place for Muslims and Israel has no right to control it".

The hilltop compound has always been a source of religious friction.

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