Israeli soldiers attacked thousands of Palestinian protesters in East Jerusalem as they gathered outside the Al-Aqsa mosque for Friday prayers.
Repression appeared to continue into the night, with reports that electricity was cut to large areas of East Jerusalem coinciding with attacks on protesters by soldiers
The three killed Palestinians are named as 17 year-old Muhammed Khalaf, 18 year-old Muhammed Sharaf and 20 year-old Muhammed Ghanam.
Soldiers also attacked hundreds-strong protests in towns and cities across the West Bank and Gaza with live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas.
More than 300 Palestinians were injured by Israeli rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas canisters.
The Ma’an news agency reports that Israeli soldiers raided a hospital in the West Bank city of Hebron to arrest Palestinians injured on protests.
Soldiers reportedly fired tear gas and sound grenades in the hospital before leaving.
Three Israelis living in a settlement built on stolen Palestinian land are also said to have died after being stabbed by a Palestinian, according to Israel’s rescue service.
The wave of protests is the largest since 2014 when Palestinian teenager Mohammad Abu Khdair was kidnapped and murdered by Israelis.
This time round they began when Israeli forces imposed new security restrictions on Palestinians entering the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, including metal detectors at the gate.
It came after three Palestinians shot and killed two armed Israeli border police officers, who enforce Israel’s occupation of Jerusalem, last week.
Palestinians see the new restrictions as part of an Israeli plan to slowly take control of the Al-Aqsa mosque site, which is holy to Muslims and Jews.
The site is a major flashpoint in Israel’s attempt to push Palestinians out of East Jerusalem.
Israel has occupied East Jerusalem for 50 years, after taking control of it along with the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the Six Day War of 1967.
Palestinians in these areas have lived under an oppressive military occupation—made possible by support from the US and Britain—ever since.
Israeli settlements, defended by the military, have helped Israel to cement its occupation, gradually forcing Palestinians from their land.
Thousands of Palestinians have refused to enter the compound through the metal detectors, instead holding mass prayers outside the gates in protest.
Israeli soldiers attacked worshippers yesterday after they marched on the mosque for Friday prayers as part of “a day of rage”.
As protests and resistance look set to continue across Palestine, everyone who supports the Palestinians have to be ready to take to the streets in solidarity.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered yesterday, Saturday, outside the Israeli embassy in London to demand an end to the clampdown on the al-Aqsa mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem.
Called by Palestine Forum in Britain, it was an angry reaction to the killings and repression carried out by the Israeli state.
Protesters were hemmed in behind barriers, and police allowed a handful of supporters of the Israeli state to attempt to provoke pro-Palestinians. But none of this detracted from a powerful show of solidarity.
Protester Jaber told Socialist Worker, “The occupation gets worse every day. It is murderous and now they take away our freedom to pray.
“We cannot accept it. There has to be a response from all Muslims.
NHS worker Khadija added, “The Israelis Say the measures are for protection. But they are about control. I blame the Israelis and I also blame Donald Trump who has shown he will back anything the Israelis do.”
Dalia, a student from Warwick, added, “It is almost 100 years since the Balfour declaration when the British laid the basis for the expulsion of the Palestinians. Today Theresa May still plays the role of oppressing us by denying justice.”
Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority (PA) which governs in the West Bank, has frozen contact with Israel over the crisis.
Earlier this year Abbas and US president Donald Trump had talked of reviving the “peace process” between Israel and the PA.
The peace process has allowed Israel to cement its occupation of Palestine under the cover of “negotiations” that demand effective Israeli domination of any future Palestinian state.
Abbas has recently tried to force the PA’s rival Hamas—which resists the Israeli occupation—out of the Gaza Strip, which it has governed since 2006.
At the PA’s request, Israel cut its power supply to the Gaza Strip—which it has besieged and bombarded for ten years—exacerbating an electricity crisis.
But Abbas’s plan backfired. It has forced Hamas towards a deal with regional giant Egypt and Abbas’s leadership rival Muhammed Dahlan.
Abbas is also under pressure from Palestinians angry at his leadership. A recent poll by the Palestine Centre for Policy and Research show 62 percent of Palestinians want him to resign.
The recent protests show there is also support for continued resistance to Israel.
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