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Middle east

Jerusalem in lockdown following violent protests

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-09-24

Israeli authorities have blocked access to certain zones in Old Jerusalem following days of violent protests and clashes between demonstrators and police.

AP - Israeli police on Friday barred access to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City for Muslim men under the age of 50 over fears of fresh unrest, public radio said.
  
Police are concerned about more violent protests in annexed east Jerusalem after Friday prayers following clashes sparked when a Jewish settlement guard shot dead a Palestinian.
  
The move is in addition to an Israeli military decision to seal off the occupied West Bank for 10 days from Tuesday for the Jewish festival of Sukkot, known to Christians as the Feast of Tabernacles.
  
Such closures are routinely imposed during Jewish and Israeli national holidays when large numbers of people often gather in public places, heightening Israeli security concerns.
  
Stone-throwing youths clashed with Israeli police in an Arab area of east Jerusalem on Thursday, a day after violence was sparked when a Jewish settlement guard shot dead a Palestinian.
  
Police fired tear gas grenades and water cannon to disperse groups of youths hurling stones and burning tyres in the Issawiya district of the holy city.
  
Police were placed on alert in Jerusalem and the alert will remain in place on Friday for Muslim prayers, according to a spokesperson.
  
The Temple Mount houses the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. It is Islam's third holiest site after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, while Jews consider it to be Judaism's holiest site.
  
Speaking in Washington, Palestinian premier Salam Fayyad called on Israel to immediately ease the travel restrictions imposed on the West Bank and Gaza in a goodwill gesture for the peace process.
  
"This must happen quickly, if not the end of the occupation itself, which would show signs that it will end," said Fayyad told the New America Foundation think-tank.
  
Israel must "dismantle its system of variable controls" made up of multiple checkpoints in the West Bank, Fayyad said. "This would show our people that things are moving."

 

Date created : 2010-09-24

  • MIDDLE EAST

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