Israel Bars Muslims From Jerusalem
JERUSALEM — In a move that Israeli police themselves called “drastic,” security forces on Sunday barred Palestinians from entering Jerusalem’s Old City after the fatal stabbing there Saturday of an off-duty Israeli soldier and a well-known rabbi.
The unprecedented closure of the Old City to Palestinians comes as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised “an all-out war against Palestinian terrorism.”
Sunday brought waves of arrests of Palestinians and violent demonstrations across the West Bank, with local media reporting that more than 70 Palestinians were injured by rubber bullets and live rounds during clashes.
Israeli police said the two-day closure of the Old City was intended to protect visitors arriving to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.
“This is a drastic measure that’s being taken in order to make sure there are no further attacks during the Jewish festival, where you can see thousands of people visiting the Old City,” Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said, according to the Associated Press.