Abbas Freezes 'All Contacts' with Israel Over Temple Mount Metal Detectors

Jerusalem's holiest site closed for prayers after shooting

Anger has spilled across the West Bank since last week when Israel shut the Al-Aqsa Mosque, venerated by Muslims and Jews, who call it Temple Mount, following a deadly shootout.

This sparked massive outrage among Palestinians, who claim the new security controls on worshippers represent a breach of the status quo at the flashpoint location.

Violent clashes between Israelis and Palestinians have left at least six people dead.

Three Israelis were stabbed to death in the West Bank settlement of Halamish hours after clashes on Friday, in an attack which has been directly linked to the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif crisis.

Israeli Police used tear gas and stun grenades to push back protesters near the shrine in Jerusalem's old city.

On Friday the Palestinian Health Ministry said Mohammed Sharaf, 17, and Mohammad Hassan Abu Ghannam, age unknown, died of gunshot wounds in two neighbourhoods of East Jerusalem somewhat away from the epicentre of tension in the walled Old City.

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"On behalf of the Palestinian leadership I declare a freeze of contacts with the occupying state on all levels until Israel commits to cancelling its measures against our people in general and especially in Jerusalem city and Al-Aqsa mosque".

Israel says the three Israeli Arabs involved in the 14 July shooting near the compound were able to smuggle guns inside and that the new security measures are needed to stop similar attacks. Movement of Palestinians from his village was also restricted by Israeli security services.

Israeli police said five officers were wounded.

The hilltop compound, which includes the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, is the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam.

Muslim leaders are calling on worshipers to demonstrate outside rather than enter the mosque for Friday prayers. Three Palestinians were killed and several dozen taken to hospital with live or rubber bullet injuries.

The first death today was an 18-year-old Palestinian killed by a settler in East Jerusalem.

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