The meeting had been convened at the request of Sweden, France and Egypt. The newly flared dispute over the holy Muslim sites in Jerusalem cost a total of six people on Friday. Three Palestinians were killed when, along with hundreds of others, they protested for the construction of metal detectors, which resulted in clashes with security forces.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced that he would freeze contacts with Israel “at all levels”. Later in the day, a Palestinian killed three Jewish family members in a knife attack in West Jordan. According to the Israeli military, the youthful assailant surprised the three Israelis in the settlement of Halamish north-west of Ramallah in the evening at a Sabbath celebration.
The attack was a “massacre”, said a military speaker. The army published pictures of a kitchen floor overflowing with blood.
The alleged perpetrators were shot and used in the hospital, according to the Israeli media. UN Secretary-General António Guterres condemned the first attack in Jerusalem on Friday. He called on the Israeli and Palestinian leaders in politics to stop any further action that could further endanger the situation in the old town. Tensions would have to be reduced, UN spokesman Farhan Haq said.
Religious sites should be respected as places of reflection and not abused for violence. Guterres calls for the “complete elucidation” of the three deaths. Palestinian President Abbas said, however, that the relations with Israel would be put on hold after the fatal incident and the protests in Jerusalem. It was initially unclear whether the Palestinians would stop their long-standing security cooperation with Israel. The protests were triggered by the decision of Israel to place metal detectors in the center of the city at the entrance to the Muslim sanctuaries. Israel is a necessary security measure as Arab armed forces killed two Israeli policemen last week.