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temple mount

Secretary of State John Kerry has announced that Israel and Jordan have agreed on moves aimed at reducing tensions surrounding Jerusalem Jerusalem’s Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif holy site.

Issues relating to the complex have been at the center of violence between Israelis and Palestinians in recent weeks.

John Kerry was speaking after talks in Jordan, the formal custodian of what is known to Jews as the Temple Mount and as Haram al-Sharif to Muslims.

He said Israel had renewed a pledge to maintain existing rules there.

In the latest upsurge of violence, at least 8 Israelis have been killed and dozens wounded in knife or gun attacks by Palestinians, following rumors that Israel was planning to change the rules.Jerusalem Temple Mount Haram al-Sharif Holy Site

About 50 Palestinians, including several of the attackers, have been killed in recent weeks.

John Kerry, who is on a tour of the region, met Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and King Abdullah of Jordan in Amman on October 24.

“All the violence and the incitement to violence must stop. Leaders must lead,” John Kerry told reporters.

The steps he announced include round-the-clock video monitoring and Israel’s agreement to reaffirm Jordan’s historic role as custodian of the religious complex.

Israel says it has not challenged the status quo on the Temple Mount and has no intention of doing so.

John Kerry met Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu on October 22, and said the talks had raised ideas that were worth exploring.

On October 24, John Kerry will travel to Saudi Arabia for talks with regional leaders.

In the latest violence, Israeli police said they shot dead a Palestinian attacker in the northern West Bank on Saturday, October 24.

At least one person has been killed after a Palestinian driver has rammed a car into several pedestrians in Jerusalem, hours after clashes erupted at the city’s holiest site.

About a dozen people were injured and the driver was shot dead by police.

Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu said the attack was “a direct result of incitement” by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

A similar car attack by a Palestinian took place in the same area two weeks ago which left a woman and a baby dead.

Meanwhile Jordan has recalled its ambassador to Israel over what it called the “unprecedented Israeli escalation” at holy and sensitive sites in Jerusalem.

Also citing continued settlement activity, Jordan is to lodge a formal complaint to the United Nations Security Council in protest, the Jordanian state news agency Petra reported.

Israeli media reports say the driver – named as Ibrahim al-Akari – was from Shuafat refugee camp in the east of the city.

At least one person has been killed after a Palestinian driver has rammed a car into several pedestrians in Jerusalem

At least one person has been killed after a Palestinian driver has rammed a car into several pedestrians in Jerusalem

His Facebook page states that he is a member of Hamas, and the Twitter account for the group’s armed wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, described him as a member and a martyr.

Two weeks ago a Palestinian from the Abu Tor area drove his car into a tram station, killing a three-month-old baby and an Ecuadorean woman.

East Jerusalem has experienced growing unrest in recent months with Palestinians angry at Israeli settlement expansion on occupied land and restricted access to the al-Aqsa Mosque Compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount.

At times of tension, Israeli police bar male Muslim worshippers under the age of 50 from entering the compound as a security measure.

The Temple Mount/al-Haram al-Sharif compound was briefly closed earlier to visitors after dozens of Palestinian protesters fought with police.

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The Temple Mount/al-Haram al-Sharif has been reopened by Israeli police after its closure amid tensions following the shooting of prominent right-wing Jewish activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick.

Jerusalem holy site was reopened ahead of Muslim Friday prayers, but with restrictions on worshippers as a security measure.

Meanwhile the Palestinian suspected of wounding Rabbi Yehuda Glick has been buried in East Jerusalem.

There has been an escalation of tension in the city in recent weeks.

On October 30, a spokesman for Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas described Israel’s temporary closure of the holy site as a “declaration of war”.

The compound – known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif – is the holiest site in Judaism, and contains the al-Aqsa Mosque – the third holiest site in Islam.

The site was reopened to Muslim worshippers on Friday morning, with entry to men restricted to those over 50 amid fears of unrest after Friday prayers

On Thursday night hundreds of people gathered for the funeral of Moataz Hejazi amid a heavy police presence. The burial passed off without incident, police said.

The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism

The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism

Moataz Hejazi, 32, was shot after opening fire when police surrounded his home, officials said.

He was suspected of having attacked Rabbi Glick as he left a conference on Jewish claims to the Jerusalem holy site.

Rabbi Yehuda Glick is a well-known campaigner for the right of Jews to pray at the site, which is currently prohibited.

He was seriously wounded and is on a life-support machine in a Jerusalem hospital.

On Wednesday night there were clashes in the neighborhood of Abu Tor between police and Palestinians protesting against the killing of Moataz Hejazi.

Police used tear gas and rubber bullets against stone-throwing youths.

Moataz Hejazi’s cousin alleges that he was shot by police after being detained within his house. Israeli police say Moataz Hejazi was killed after he began shooting at police who then opened fire in response.

Secretary of State John Kerry said he was “extremely concerned” by the escalation in tensions and had urged Israel to reopen the holy site.

“It is absolutely critical that all sides exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric, and preserve the historic status quo on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount in word and in practice,” he said.

Some districts of East Jerusalem have seen nightly clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces since the Gaza conflict last summer.

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