Pitched street battles rage after Jerusalem synagogue attack

Pitched street battles are being fought in Jerusalem in the aftermath of a deadly attack on a synagogue that killed five Israelis, with Palestinian youths facing off against Israeli security forces across the tense city. At least 10 Palestinians were wounded in violence near al-Ram, a Jerusalem neighbourhood that has been cut off from the rest of the city by the Israeli separation wall. Approximately 25 others were wounded in Sur Baher, south of Jerusalem, Palestinian medical sources told Al Jazeera. Violence also flared in the occupied West Bank with Israeli settlers attacking a school in the village of Urif, south of Nablus. Clashes ensued and at least five Palestinians were wounded by rubber-coated steel bullets while others were taken to hospital with tear-gas-related injuries.

We believe that if the Israeli government is genuinely interested in rectifying the situation, then it must work to stop all violations by Israeli settlers and Knesset members who go into Al-Aqsa practically every time accompanied by the army.

Nimmer Hammad, an aide to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas

Earlier, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, promised a harsh response to the synagogue attack and ordered the demolition of the homes of the Abu Jamal cousins, who carried out the attack. In an attempt to defuse tensions, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a statement condemning the killing of civilians on all sides. He also demanded a halt to “raids into Al-Aqsa [mosque]” and “settler provocation”. Tensions have been mounting over what Palestinians say are repeated attempts by right-wing Jews to extend their influence at the Muslim-run compound housing the mosque.