The restrictions come amid fresh violence in the West Bank, with one Palestinian man killed and another woman injured by Israeli forces in the Hebron district. Ahlam Jbara speaking for the Chicago Coalition for Justice in Palestine demanded that the crowd hold Israel, the USA and the United Nations accountable for these attacks continuing.
In fact, 65% of Palestinians want Abbas, who replaced Arafat as president of the PA and has remained ever since, to resign, though 83% support Abbas’ much touted policy of seeking recognition for a Palestinian state in global organizations, such as the worldwide Criminal Court.
“It’s true those who passed away in this incident found salvation and rejoined God… but this will not take the responsibility off the shoulders of those who should provide security for pilgrims”, Khamenei said. Legislation to curb stone-throwing has only recently been passed, introducing draconian sentences of up to 20 years.
Critics, however, have warned the new measures will backfire. They are grossly inappropriate, undemocratic and unsafe, they risk escalation and bode badly for Jerusalem and Israel as a whole. Jewish activists have sought increased access, though the government is reluctant to upset the current balance.
Mourners at Alex Levlovich’s funeral.
There is no doubt that Jerusalem is central to the identities of both Israelis and Palestinians, and there is nothing wrong with wanting to protect strong national and religious connections to the city – on the contrary, they are what make Jerusalem the extraordinary place that it is.
“However, the reality is that the children in East Jerusalem, who, in theory, are supposed to have more rights than their West Bank counterparts, are treated differently in practise”, Abu Qtaish told Al Jazeera.
Some 84% of its children live below the poverty line, there is a chronic lack of schools and – being devoid of approved urban plans – any construction is mostly illegal and demolition is frequent.
Visits by Jews and tourists also went ahead as usual at the Al-Aqsa compound.
Israel says Jerusalem is their undivided capital, although the global community does not acknowledge nor recognize that claim.
In recent weeks, Israel has limited Muslim access to the mosque compound on several occasions to allow Jewish visitors to ascend.
For Muslims, protecting Islam’s holy sites is viewed as a sacred commandment, and there is deep suspicion of Israeli intentions.
The Israeli Premier vowed to maintain the status quo in the mosque.
Unrest followed Israel’s barring of a violent Palestinian group from the Temple Mount.
The inter-communal conflict in Jerusalem is as volatile as it is complex.
That night, an Israeli man was killed in southern Jerusalem when his auto crashed into a wall after it was pelted with stones.
The sounds of burning tyres, screaming ambulances, and intermittent gunshots accompanied the acrid smell of tear gas enveloping a wave of Palestinian youth facing off against Israeli special security forces raiding the village of Issawiya in occupied East Jerusalem last week.
The Palestinians waged two previous intifadas against Israel – in the late 1980s and in 2000-2005.