Israel limits Temple Mount access after West Bank shooting
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Israel limits Temple Mount access after West Bank shooting

Defense minister says PA capitalizing on holiday to encourage violence; Palestinian shot after officials say he charged officers at checkpoint

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon on the Golan Heights, northern Israel, June 30, 2015, looking toward Syria. (Eden Moladavski/Ministry of Defense)
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon on the Golan Heights, northern Israel, June 30, 2015, looking toward Syria. (Eden Moladavski/Ministry of Defense)

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Tuesday said he would restrict Muslim access to the Temple Mount following a series of attacks on Israelis, including a shooting near a West Bank settlement on Monday night that killed one Israeli and injured three others.

Ya’alon’s directive came shortly before Israeli forces shot and wounded a Palestinian man officials said ran at them at a checkpoint near Jerusalem while shouting “Allahu Akhbar,” or God is greatest,” in Arabic.

The Palestinian man was transferred from the Qalandiya checkpoint to the capital’s Shaare Tzedek hospital in moderate condition.

Ya’alon blamed the Palestinian Authority for the attacks, saying Ramallah was inciting violence with special TV broadcasts for the Ramadan holy month.

Ya’alon said that security checks for Muslim women entering the Temple Mount would resume in light of the attack, and only men over the age of 50 will be permitted to visit the site. He said checkpoints would be set up in the West Bank and Israel would beef up its security presence in the region.

“In the past days, days of Ramadan, there have been six attacks,” Ya’alon said. “We have no doubt that the cause of this is incitement in general, and the incitement of the Palestinian Authority in particular. This is a religious holiday, and [the PA is] taking advantage of the days when people are sitting at home watching TV and movies, as a result of which people go out and then carry out attacks,” he added, in an apparent reference to the broadcasts on the PA media outlets.

On Monday morning, a female Israel Defense Forces soldier sustained moderate to serious wounds in a stabbing attack at around 11 a.m. at a checkpoint between Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Bethlehem. Her female attacker was detained and questioned at the site of the attack. Police said that two more knives had been found in her bag.

“Terror groups are active and are trying to increase terror in Judea and Samaria,” he said, using the biblical term for the West Bank. “Overall, our efforts to thwart [attacks] successfully foil them before they are carried out. Hamas and other groups are active in the field, and are trying to rebuild their infrastructure.”

Earlier Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the Palestinian Authority to denounce the recent wave of terror attacks. “Anyone who doesn’t take an unequivocal stand against terror can never wash his hands clean,” the prime minister said.

Netanyahu promised that Israel would respond to the terror attack “forcefully” and would see that the perpetrators are brought to justice.

“The attempts to hurt us do not stop for a moment. The Shin Bet security service and the IDF have thwarted dozens of terror attacks since the start of the year, and more than 200 since the start of 2014,” Netanyahu said during a press conference with the Italian foreign minister.

Malachy Rosenfeld (Facebook)
Malachy Rosenfeld (Facebook)

Malachi Moshe Rosenfeld, 25, died of his wounds in the attack on Tuesday, and three more were in moderate condition, hours after a drive-by shooting by a Palestinian assailant near the West Bank settlement of Shvut Rachel, north of Ramallah.

Rosenfeld was sitting in the passenger’s seat and according to another of the victims, Yair Hooper, sustained injuries to his torso and lower body.

An Israeli vehicle hit by gunfire near the West Bank settlement of Shvut Rachel, north of Ramallah, late on June 30, 2015. (Courtesy: Israel Hatzolah)
An Israeli vehicle hit by gunfire near the West Bank settlement of Shvut Rachel, north of Ramallah, late on June 30, 2015. (Courtesy: Israel Hatzolah)

The other two injured men were sent to Hadassah Hospital, Ein Kerem, for treatment. One was set to undergo surgery Tuesday morning, and the second was to be transferred to the surgical ward later in the day.

The four, all of whom live in the West Bank Settlement of Kochav Hashahar, had been driving near Route 60, the main north-south artery running through the West Bank, when they were attacked.

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