After days of silence amid a string of terror attacks and skyrocketing tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority on Sunday condemned Israel for its “policy of escalation,” after two Palestinian assailants were killed as they carried out terror attacks.
In a written communique published on the official news agency Wafa, PA government spokesman Ihab Bseiso called on the international community to intervene following “the killing of two young men in occupied Jerusalem and the series of incursions into cities and villages in the West Bank.”
The statement made no mention of the fact that the two dead Palestinians had been killed while carrying out stabbing attacks against Israeli civilians.
On Saturday night Palestinian Mohammad Halabi carried out a stabbing spree in Jerusalem’s Old City, killing Nehemia Lavi, 41, and Aharon Banito, 21, and wounding Banito’s wife and 2-year-old baby, police said.
Hours later, Palestinian Fadi Aloon stabbed an Israeli teen near the Old City’ Damascus gate.
Both Halabi and Aloon were shot and killed at the scene.
“The only solution is the end of the Israeli occupation of our occupied Palestinian land and the establishment of our independent state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital,” Bseiso wrote.
The statement did not condemn or mention the killings of Naama and Eitam Henkin, who were shot to death in a Palestinian terror attack on Thursday in the West Bank.
Israel has carried out a number of raids in the West Bank since the attack in a bid to catch the couple’s killers, who gunned down the two on a West Bank road in front of their four children. Operations in Nablus and Jenin over the past two days have sparked clashes with local Palestinians.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials have condemned the PA for its silence in the wake of the attacks, which came following a period of intensified low-level violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank surrounding tensions over the Temple Mount.
The Israel Police announced Sunday it would limit access to Jerusalem’s Old City and the Temple Mount compound, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, over the next two days.
Only Israeli citizens, local residents, students, employees who work in the area and tourists will be allowed entry into the Old City through Tuesday, police said.
On the Temple Mount compound, “Muslim prayer will be limited to males aged 50 and above while there will be no age limitation on female Muslim worshipers,” police said in a statement.
The Muslim worshipers will only be allowed in through the Old City’s Lions Gate.
Israeli police and troops have beefed up their presence in Jerusalem and the West Bank, amid fears of continued Palestinian violence, as low-level fighting and attacks roiled the capital and West Bank Saturday night and Sunday morning.
AFP contributed to this report.