6 Palestinians Killed In Clashes With Israeli Soldiers
KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:
Today was the deadliest so far in the recent upsurge of Israeli-Palestinian violence. Health officials in Gaza say Israeli soldiers killed six Palestinians in clashes. Israeli police say a Palestinian woman was killed after she stabbed a police officer in a West Bank settlement. There were other knife attacks, including one by an Israeli against Palestinians. NPR's Emily Harris reports this all comes down to Jerusalem.
EMILY HARRIS, BYLINE: Today's deadly violence has been building for weeks. This morning, mourners gathered in Jerusalem's Old City at the spot two Jewish men were stabbed to death last Saturday. Men lead prayers. Women made bread. Daniel Luria was there. He helped settle Jews into neighborhoods that Palestinians claim as part of their future capital. Luria says Israel should respond to the murders by supporting more Jews moving in.
DANIEL LURIA: Jews have a right to live anywhere in the Old City. Jews have a right to live anywhere in Jerusalem, and we shouldn't be worried about political ramifications or what America will say or what'll happen to the U.N.
HARRIS: The mourners sat under Israeli flags and behind police barricades in front of Jewish homes that are deep in the Muslim quarter of the Old City. Akhram Shurafa, a Palestinian Muslim, said he got upset walking past them. He was going to pray at the contested al-Aqsa Mosque on a site holy to both Muslims and Jews.
AKHRAM SHURAFA: (Foreign language spoken).
HARRIS: "Jerusalem is for us," Shurafa said. "Al-Aqsa is for us. The Old City is for us."
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Praying in Arabic).
HARRIS: Muslim Friday prayers passed with no clashes in the Old City. But it other places, there was violence. In Gaza, Israeli troops killed several Palestinians who were throwing rocks as they approached the barrier surrounding the Gaza Strip. Imad Ilyan participated in one confrontation.
IMAD ILYAN: (Foreign language spoken).
HARRIS: "I went there for Jerusalem," Ilyan said, adding that he can't keep silent and he would do it again. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said today Gazans support the battle for Jerusalem and back what he called this intifada uprising. Emily Harris, NPR News, Jerusalem. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.