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Palestinians suspend official contacts with Israel - president
July 21, 2017 / 7:49 PM / in 4 months

Palestinians suspend official contacts with Israel - president

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday ordered the suspension of all official contact with Israel until it removed new security measures at a Jerusalem holy site.

FILE PHOTO: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, not shown, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, July 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Schiefelbein/Pool

Palestinians have clashed with Israeli security forces outside the shrine for days and on Friday three were killed when fighting broke out as people protested against the installation of metal detectors at entrances to the Noble Sanctuary-Temple Mount compound that is holy to Muslims and Jews.

“I declare the suspension of all contacts with the Israeli side on all levels until it cancels its measures at Al-Aqsa mosque and preserves the status quo,” Abbas said in a brief televised speech after meeting his aides, referring to a mosque forming part of the holy site.

Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Louise Ireland

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