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The New Arab

Israel cancels Ramadan permits, closes Jerusalem to Palestinians following deadly attack

Israel has ramped up security measures following the attack in Jerusalem. [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 June, 2017

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Israeli authorities have rescinded 250,000 permits for Palestinians to enter Jerusalem after an Israeli border policewoman was killed on Friday by three attackers.
Israeli authorities have rescinded Ramadan permits for Palestinians to enter Jerusalem after an Israeli border policewoman was killed on Friday by three attackers.

Three Palestinians armed with knives and a gun were shot dead after attacking and killing the female border policewoman at the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City.

The Islamic State group that it was behind the fatal stabbing but Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a leftist group, claimed the assailants came from within their ranks. Israeli security services also cast doubt on the claims by IS.

Following the deadly attack, Israel immediately ramped up punitive measures, rescinding more than 250,000 permits allowing Palestinians to enter Jerusalem for Ramadan celebrations.

Major General Yoav Mordechai -- head of COGAT, the Israeli defence ministry agency responsible for civilian affairs in the Palestinian territories -- said the family visit permits were cancelled in response to "encouragement to terrorism" by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement.

The permit system tightly controls Palestinian movement but Israel usually issues extra permits during religious holidays as a goodwill gesture for Palestinians to pray at the Al-Aqsa mosque.

Fatah condemned the killing of the three Palestinians via the official Wafa news agency while Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu demanded the Palestinian Authority and the international community condemn the attack

Punitive house demolitions

Late Friday, Israeli military forces imposed a closure on the West Bank village of Deir Abu Mashal, where the attackers hailed from, in preparation for a punitive demolition of their homes, villagers told Ma’an News Agency.

Israel has for decades employed a policy of demolishing the homes of relatives of Palestinians who have carried out attacks on Israelis.

Military checkpoints were set up in the village with residents prevented from entering or leaving, locals told Ma’an News Agency, while 22 unregistered vehicles were confiscated by Israeli forces.

Clashes broke out following the army raids, with three Palestinians shot and dozens suffering tear gas inhalation.

On Saturday, Israeli police rounded up over 350 Palestinians in Jerusalem in a mass crackdown on undocumented workers, a police spokesman said.

So far in 2017, at least 30 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces and settlers.

Unrest that broke out in October 2015 has claimed the lives of 272 Palestinians, 42 Israelis, two Americans, two Jordanians, an Eritrean, a Sudanese and a Briton, according to an AFP tally.

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