Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has announced he is freezing ties with Israel,dealing a blow to fledgling Trump administration efforts to try to renew long-dormant peace talks.

Mr Abbas said contacts with Israel would be suspended on “all levels.”

It was not immediately clear if this means long-standing security coordination between Israeli troops and Abbas’ forces will be halted.

 

This comes as Israel has arrested the brother of a 20-year-old Palestinian who stabbed to death three members of an Israeli family.

The attacker, identified as Omar al-Abed, 20, had sneaked over the fence of the Israeli settlement of Halamish in the West Bank late on Friday and infiltrated the family’s home, surprising them during a Shabbat dinner.

In a Facebook post on Friday, Omar al-Abed said he was avenging what he called Israel’s “desecration” of a Jerusalem shrine.

Street clashes over the shrine earlier left three Palestinians dead.

Several thousand Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank clashed with Israeli troops, burning tyres or throwing stones and firecrackers.

Troops fired live rounds, rubber bullets and tear gas. Three Palestinians were killed and several dozen taken to hospital with live or rubber bullet injuries.

Israeli police clash with Palestinian protesters in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi el Joz, outside Jerusalem's Old City, following Friday prayers on July 21, 2017.  Photo by: JINIPIX

Israeli police clash with Palestinian protesters in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi el Joz, outside Jerusalem’s Old City, following Friday prayers on July 21, 2017.
Photo by: JINIPIX