Jewish visitors walk protected by Israeli security forces at the Al Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem on April 9, 2023. Image Credit: AFP

JERUSALEM: Jewish visitors and tourists will be banned from the Al Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem until the end of Ramadan, a statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said on Tuesday.

An Israeli police raid at the site last week triggered rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza, Lebanon and Syria that were met with Israeli strikes.

In previous years Israel has banned Jewish visits to the compound in the last 10 days of Ramadan.

Earlier, Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians in the West Bank on a day mourners laid to rest a British-Israeli woman who died in an attack that also killed her two daughters.

Violence has surged in the region over the last week, with the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, Jewish Passover and Christian Easter coinciding.

“I commend the actions of the soldiers who eliminated two terrorists who opened fire on them near Elon Moreh” a Jewish settlement near the West Bank city of Nablus, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said on Twitter.

He added the troops had “prevented an attack on Israeli civilians”.

A senior Palestinian official told AFP that he had been informed of the death of the two Palestinians, who were not immediately identified.

In a statement, the Israeli army said “armed assailants fired shots from a vehicle at the Elon Moreh post.”

Soldiers “fired toward the vehicle and neutralised two armed assailants,” it added.

The army said it had seized two M-16 rifles and a handgun.

The incident came as thousands of mourners gathered Tuesday at an Israeli settlement in the West Bank for the funeral of a British-Israeli woman killed in a shooting attack days earlier.

Israelis holding national flags lined the roads in the rain leading to the funeral for Lucy Dee in Kfar Etzion, in the southern West Bank.

‘Appalling attack’

The 48-year-old, also known by her Hebrew name Leah, died Monday from wounds sustained three days earlier when her car came under fire in the Jordan Valley.

Two of her children, sisters aged 16 and 20, were shot dead in the attack and buried on Sunday.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, in a statement, labelled the killings “abhorrent” and added “the UK condemns this appalling attack on civilians”.

He said Britain urged “all sides to de-escalate tensions in Israel, and the occupied Palestinian territories, and end the deadly cycle of violence.”