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Israeli Dies as Palestinian Attackers Stage Assaults in Jerusalem

The three perpetrators were about 18 or 19 and were residents of the Ramallah area of the West Bank, according to Shin Bet, the Israeli general security service. The apparent jamming of one of the attacker’s guns prevented more casualties.

Sgt. Malka was stabbed by one assailant just outside the Damascus Gate, a bustling entrance to the Old City. It has been the scene of many similar attacks since Palestinians embarked on a deadly wave of stabbings, shootings and car-ramming attacks in October 2015. The other two assailants struck outside a historic cave nearby.

The area is heavily policed, and a relative calm had prevailed in recent months. The police said that 180,000 Muslim worshipers had attended noon prayer at Al Aqsa Mosque in the Old City on Friday, the third Friday of the fasting month of Ramadan.

Decorative lights emblazoned the plaza in front of the Damascus Gate and the roads of downtown East Jerusalem, adding to the festive nightfall atmosphere.

Roads leading to the Old City were closed to ordinary traffic for much of Friday to ease the passage of busloads of worshipers.

In an unusual gesture, the Israeli authorities said they had allowed Palestinian women and children to travel directly from the West Bank to the Old City of Jerusalem on Palestinian buses, passing through the Israeli checkpoints without having to transfer onto Israeli buses.

After the attacks on Friday evening, the Jerusalem District police chief, Yoram Halevy, said the authorities would consider whether to tighten access for Palestinians from the West Bank during Ramadan.

Source: NYT > World

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