Three Palestinians and two Israeli policemen died on Friday following a clash between security forces and citizens in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Three Palestinian citizens allegedly fired on police units near the Lions’ Gate, a popular religious site in the area. Israeli police reportedly fired back, leaving the three Palestinians dead.
Five policemen were wounded during the clash, with two of them confirmed dead in a Jerusalem hospital hours later. Following the incident, access to nearby mosques for Friday prayers were banned, Israeli police said.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the clash in a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but also said closing down the area could have repercussions.
“The President expressed his strong rejection and condemnation of the incident that took place ... as well as his rejection of any violent incidents from any side, especially in places of worship,” Palestinian news agency Wafa said.
Two holy sites of Islam are located in the area where the clash took place: the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.
Friday’s event forms part of a wave of violence that began October 2015, leaving 265 Palestinians and 44 Israelis dead as victims of such clashes. Four other people of various nationalities have also died.