Few Protests in Yerushalayim Friday

YERUSHALAYIM (AP) -
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Palestinian men are seen during a prayer outside the Damascus Gate in The Old City of Yerushalayim on Friday.(AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

Prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque ended peacefully on Friday, Israeli police said, but violence flared in Yehudah, where a Palestinian was killed after he attacked soldiers and another died in clashes along Gaza’s border with Israel.

Tensions have been high since Arab terrorists killed two Israeli Druze police officers on July 14, prompting Israel to install security devices at the entrance to Har HaBayis.

The move outraged Muslims and sparked some of the worst street clashes in years. Under intense pressure, Israel removed the metal detectors this week and said that it planned to install sophisticated security cameras instead.

Firas Dibs, an official from the Jordanian religious body that administers the Temple Mount, said that tens of thousands attended Friday prayers.

The prayers ended without incident, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. There were some sporadic, low-level scuffles between Palestinians and Israeli forces nearby, but nothing on the scale of recent violence.

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Palestinians hurl stones at Israeli soldiers during clashes in Bethlehem on Friday. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)

Police had barred men under 50 from the Temple Mount and braced for violence following security assessments indicating Palestinians had planned protests there.

Muslims only returned to the site on Thursday after about two weeks of praying in the streets nearby to protest the new security measures. They had claimed that Israel was trying to expand its control over the site. Israel denied the allegations, insisting that the measures were to prevent more attacks.

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Israeli police officers aim their weapons as Palestinians protest outside the Old City of Yerushalayim on Friday. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

In Gaza, which is run by the Hamas terror group, the Health Ministry said that a Palestinian 16-year-old was killed in clashes with Israeli soldiers stationed near the strip’s border fence with Israel, while protesting tensions in Yerushalayim.

There were several such protests Friday in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military said Palestinians threw rocks and rolled burning tires at them. It said troops opened fire when “main instigators” ignored warnings to stop damaging the security barrier.

In the violence in Yehudah, a Palestinian was shot and killed after he brandished a knife at troops at the Gush Etzion Junction, Israel’s military said. No soldiers were hurt in the incident.

The busy intersection south of Yerushalayim has been the site of multiple Palestinian terror attacks in the past two years.

Palestinians threw firebombs and rocks, and rolled burning tires at soldiers who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets at several protests in Yehudah and Shomron, the military said.