Palestinians protesting the deaths of five Arabs in a police raid clashed Friday with soldiers in the West Bank, and more than 17 were wounded by gunfire, hospital officials said.
At least 11 refugee camps, towns or villages in the West Bank and occupied Gaza Strip had demonstrations or were shut down by general strikes called to protest the killings Thursday in the village of Nahalin, near Bethlehem.The worst confrontation was in the Askar refugee camp near Nablus. Arab doctors said 12 Palestinians there were hospitalized with gunshot wounds.
The victims included a 3-year-old girl, who was shot in the left side, and an 18-year-old man in critical condition with a bullet in the chest, they said.
In Jerusalem, police took unprecedented measures to prevent violence at the Al Aqsa Mosque during Friday's Moslem prayers. A riot occurred there during last week's prayers, and at least 2,000 extra police were called in Friday to prevent similar violence.
The mosque is on the Temple Mount, known to Arabs as Haram Sharif, or Noble Enclosure. The elevated platform also houses the Dome of the Rock mosque and is lined on one side by the Western Wall, the last remnant of the second Jewish Temple. The site is sacred to both Jews and Moslems.
Police reported only about 7,000 Moslems attended prayers at Al Aqsa, far fewer than the 30,000 predicted. Apparently many were kept away by curfews on refugee camps and roadblocks outside Jerusalem.
In an unprecedented move, Israel closed a key gate leading to the site.