Is­raeli forces de­ployed af­ter vi­o­lence

The Washington Post Sunday - - THE WORLD - BY WIL­LIAM BOOTH wil­liam.booth@wash­post.com

jerusalem — Is­raeli forces fanned out across East Jerusalem and the West Bank on Satur­day, car­ry­ing out raids and ar­rests a day af­ter three Pales­tini­ans were killed in vi­o­lent protests and af­ter three Is­raeli set­tlers were knifed to death in their kitchen dur­ing a birthday cel­e­bra­tion.

Is­raeli sol­diers blocked ac­cess to the vil­lage of Kho­bar in the West Bank, home to the 19-yearold Pales­tinian as­sailant who hopped the fence sur­round­ing the Jewish set­tle­ment of Halamish on Fri­day night and stabbed to death three Is­raelis — a fa­ther and his two adult chil­dren — who had gath­ered for the Sab­bath meal.

Is­raeli of­fi­cials blamed the killings on Pales­tinian in­cite­ment. “It is a ter­ror­ist act com­mit­ted by a hu­man an­i­mal, in­fused with ab­hor­rent ha­tred,” Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu said.

Pales­tini­ans in turn said it was Ne­tanyahu who was act­ing reck­lessly.

Is­rael and the Pales­tini­ans are locked in a show­down over Is­rael’s de­ci­sion to in­stall metal de­tec­tors at the en­trances to the al-Aqsa Mosque com­pound in Jerusalem’s Old City af­ter a shoot­ing ram­page at the site eight days ago. Three Pales­tinian gun­men killed two Is­raeli po­lice of­fi­cers out­side the mosque be­fore be­ing shot dead them­selves.

Pales­tinian Au­thor­ity Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ab­bas warned on Fri­day night that his gov­ern­ment would “freeze con­tact on all lev­els” with Is­rael un­til the de­tec­tors are re­moved.

Is­raeli of­fi­cials say that the de­tec­tors are vi­tal for se­cu­rity af­ter the gun at­tack out­side the mosque. Pales­tini­ans say they will refuse to pass through the de­vices, which they con­demn as an­other im­ple­ment of con­trol em­ployed by a hos­tile force.

On Satur­day, Ab­bas’s po­lit­i­cal party, Fatah, as­serted that the protests “will not stop un­til a Pales­tinian vic­tory and the re­lease of the holy sites from Is­raeli oc­cu­pa­tion.”

En­voys from the Mid­dle East Quar­tet, rep­re­sent­ing the United States, Rus­sia, the Euro­pean Union and the United Na­tions, urged max­i­mum re­straint by all sides. Amer­i­can diplo­mats were in­volved in talks with Is­rael and Jor­dan, which over­sees care of the mosque.

Is­raeli lead­ers down­played Ab­bas’s threat to cut off con­tact, say­ing the Pales­tinian leader was bluff­ing to rally sup­port on the street. The Is­raelis said that if Ab­bas re­ally did end se­cu­rity co­or­di­na­tion be­tween Pales­tinian po­lice and their Is­raeli coun­ter­parts, it would be Ab­bas and his peo­ple who would suf­fer the most.

Is­raeli De­fense Min­is­ter Avig­dor Lieber­man vis­ited the scene where Fri­day’s deadly knife at­tack took place. Is­raelis were shocked by pho­to­graphs re­leased by the army that showed the kitchen floor of the home cov­ered in blood of the three vic­tims: Yosef, Chaya and Elad Salomon.

Lieber­man called on Ab­bas to “con­demn the mas­sacre that was car­ried out yes­ter­day against an in­no­cent fam­ily that didn’t en­dan­ger any­one,” ac­cord­ing to the De­fense Min­istry.

Ab­bas’s deputies said Is­rael had un­leashed the vi­o­lence by provoca­tive changes to se­cu­rity at the al-Aqsa Mosque com­pound, also known as the Tem­ple Mount, a site holy to both Mus­lims and Jews.

Just hours be­fore he stabbed the Jewish fam­ily in the West Bank, the as­sailant, Omar alAbed, typed a last tes­ta­ment on his Face­book page

“All I have is a sharp­ened knife, and it re­sponds to the call of al-Aqsa,” he wrote. “Shame on you, you who preach hate. God will take re­venge on you. We are all sons of Pales­tine and sons of al-Aqsa. You, the sons of mon­keys and pigs, if you do not open the gates of al-Aqsa, I am sure that af­ter me they will come af­ter you and beat you with an iron first, I warn you.”

Abed’s fa­ther told the As­so­ci­ated Press his son be­lieved he was de­fend­ing Mus­lim honor. An un­cle told re­porters that Abed had spent two weeks in a Pales­tinian jail, where he was in­ter­ro­gated by Ab­bas’s se­cu­rity po­lice, who sus­pected that Abed was plot­ting to at­tack Is­raelis.

AH­MAD GHARABLI/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE VAI GETTY IM­AGES

Se­cu­rity forces frisk a Pales­tinian man out­side Li­ons’ Gate, a main en­trance to the al-Aqsa Mosque com­pound in Jerusalem’s Old City.

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