JERUSALEM (AP) — The latest developments in ongoing violence between Palestinians and Israelis (all times local):
Israeli police say young Muslim men will be barred from entering Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site on Friday as a measure to ensure calm amid a wave of violence.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Thursday that men under the age of 40 will be prevented from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. There were no restrictions on entry for women.
The hilltop compound is sacred to both Muslims and Jews and has been at the center of the recent violence.
The age limit has been put in place intermittently in an attempt to ensure calm as it’s mostly younger Palestinians involved in the violence.
Israel’s prime minister says he rejects accusations that his government is using excessive force in response to a spate of stabbing attacks.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Thursday that Israel is using “exactly the kind and amount of legitimate force” that any other government faced with seemingly spontaneous stabbing attacks would use.
More than a dozen Palestinians whom Israel has identified as attackers have been shot and killed in the monthlong burst of violence that is roiling the region. The Palestinians have lambasted what they have called “extrajudicial killings.” The U.S. has suggested that Israel may have used excessive force in confronting the stabbing attacks.
Israel’s prime minister says he is “perfectly open” to meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to halt a wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters on Thursday that he thinks such a meeting would be “potentially useful.”
Netanyahu has accused Abbas of inciting the violence. He noted Abbas’ false allegation that Israel “executed” a young Palestinian boy who is recovering in an Israeli hospital after participating in a Jerusalem stabbing.
Netanyahu says a meeting with Arab leaders and Abbas “might stop the wave of incitement and the false allegations against Israel.”
Jordan has acted as a mediator in the past.
The Israeli military says it will deploy 300 soldiers in the streets of Jerusalem to help police maintain order in the city after weeks of unrest.
The deployment is the latest step by Israel to beef up security in the city. Thousands of additional police and paramilitary guards are already on patrol, and Israel has also erected concrete barriers and checkpoints outside some Arab neighborhoods of east Jerusalem.
The military says Thursday that the soldiers will help guard public transportation and the city’s main arteries. They will be deployed on Sunday.
In the current wave of violence, eight Israelis have been killed in stabbing and shooting attacks. Thirty-one Palestinians have been killed, including 14 identified by Israel as attackers, and the others in clashes between stone-throwers and Israeli troops.
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