11/06/2014, 00.00
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Tighter security in Jerusalem as fear of more violence grows

After Palestinians were involved in car-related incidents involving Israeli border police agents and bystanders, in which one policeman was and scored injured, Israel tightened security. Israeli rightists plan to carry out protest rally on the Esplanade of the Mosques.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The Israeli government has tightened security measures around Jerusalem's light rail after an attack by a Palestinian who drove his car into a group of people waiting at a light train station, killing one Israeli border policeman and injuring nine other people, one of them seriously. In view of the tensions, Israel said it would not allow changes to the status of the Esplanade of the Mosques despite demands from rightists to allow Jewish prayers.

Ibrahim al-Akari, 38, from the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, rammed his car into passengers waiting at a light rail stop after running over three border police officers. Afterwards, he got out of the car and attacked bystanders with an iron bar before being shot dead by police.

Following the incident, Israeli security forces set up roadblocks in flashpoint Palestinian neighbourhoods in east Jerusalem and deployed reinforcements at key road junctions. Israeli police also arrested overnight at least 16 Palestinians after clashes erupted in the Shufuat refugee camp as well as in the Palestinian neighbourhoods of Issawiya and Silwan.

In another incident, at least three Israeli soldiers were reportedly wounded, one seriously, after a Palestinian car rammed into them as they stood on guard near the al-Arroub Palestinian refugee camp near Hebron. The Israeli military launched a widespread search to locate the vehicle and its driver.

Yesterday's incidents come two weeks after a Palestinian lost control of his car into passengers, killing a young woman and a baby. Since that attack, which has fuelled unrest across east Jerusalem, police have arrested 188 people, 71 of them minors,

Yesterday, Palestinian and Jordanian leaders called on the United Nations Security Council to intervene against Israel's "violations" against Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, as the crisis continues to degenerate, there can only be serious repercussions for the entire Middle East. And tensions could get even worse if this afternoon right-wing Jews carry out a rally on the Temple Mount (Haram al-Sharif to Muslims) to protest the wounding of Rabbi Yehuda Glick.

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