Israel has sent extra troops into the occupied West Bank after at least seven Israelis and Palestinians were killed, the biggest surge in bloodshed between the two sides in years. Matthew Larotonda reports.
Israel conducting raids and deploying extra troops in the occupied West Bank, after at least seven Israelis and Palestinians were killed in the worst violence between the two sides in years. The UN Security Council poised for an emergency session on Monday (July 23), as a rare joint statement from Russia, the U.S., European Union and UN called on both factions to show restraint. The last few days have been marked by violent demonstrations in the area, riot police clashing with protesters throwing rocks and debris. Palestinian health officials say three demonstrators were shot dead by Israeli security, a charge police say they're investigating. The protests have centered on the recent installation of new metal detectors at one of the most important holy sites in Jerusalem, known as Temple Mount to Judaism, and Noble Sanctuary in Islam. Jews and Muslims have seperate entrances to the compound, and for decades the Jewish entrance had metal detectors for the general public, while the Muslim entrance did not. Muslim religious authorities contending the gates restrict free movement for worshippers, and could be used by Israelis to take full control of the area. That status quo ended a week ago when two Israeli police in the vicinity were shot to death by gunmen firing from inside the compound. Israeli authorities mandating the detectors at all entrances in response. Now signs the violence from the protests may be spilling over. Three Israelis were stabbed to death at a West Bank settlement on Friday (July 21) while eating dinner, the suspect shot and in custody, along with his brother. And another Palestinian was killed in a seperate incident when Israeli authorities say an explosive he was assembling went off prematurely. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has ordered the suspension of all official contact with Israeli authorities until the metal detectors are removed. His Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu says they're here to stay, although their use may be scaled back as alternative security measures are employed.