Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has drawn an angry and despairing response from global and regional leaders – who warned it would destroy the peace process, strengthen extremists and weaken the standing of the US in the world.
In an address to reporters moments after the US president had finished speaking, the UN secretary general António Guterres said he opposed “any unilateral measures that would jeopardise the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians”.
“In this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear – there is no alternative to the two-state solution,” Guterres said. “There is no plan B.”
Earlier on Wednesday Pope Francis had issued a heartfelt plea to Trump to respect the status quo of the city, and to conform with UN resolutions. The pope told thousands of people at his general audience: “I cannot keep quiet about my deep worry about the situation that has been created in the last few days.” theguardian.com
At least six people were stabbed at an LGBT pride parade by in Jerusalem on Thursday, local media reported, citing Israeli police and paramedics. The suspected attacker, an ultra-Orthodox Jew, has been arrested.
Police said that six people have been injured, The Jerusalem Post reported, adding that two of them were in serious condition.
The attacker who was arrested was apparently an ultra-Orthodox Jew – a follower of Haredi Judaism, which is characterized by rejection of modern secular culture, reported Channel 10. rt.com
Israel has written the name of murdered Palestinian boy Mohammed Abu Khdeir, on the wall honoring terrorism victims at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem. The Palestinian boy was murdered last year in a revenge attack for three Israeli boys who were found dead. Mohammed’s murder where he had petrol poured down his throat and was burned alive, was originally claimed to be the result of an honor killing, lies that the boy was murdered because he was gay were spread across social media. Jewish blogger Richard Silverstein dedicated to exposing the excesses of the Israeli national security state, claims that the source of the rumors was the Israeli police attempting to cover up the crime.
The cousin of the murdered Palestinian boy, a US citizen from Florida, was severely beaten by Israeli police. Tariq Abu Khdeir, 15, suffered a broken nose and chin, and injuries to his eyes. Israel said Tariq Abu Khdeir was “taking an active part in the riot,” while the 15-year-old denied any wrong doing. (Video)
Muhamad’s father called the writing of his sons name on the monument wall “hypocrisy”, he said “We don’t need the recognition … we’re not Israeli citizens. Instead of this list we want justice and the prosecution of the criminals. We’re very concerned that they won’t receive the appropriate punishment.” Yosef Haim Ben-David with two of his relatives are responsible for the crime according to Israeli police. Times of Israel reported that Yosef claimed he is “the messiah”, which is an indication that he will most likely be pleading insanity, and could receive a lighter sentence.
Two suspected Palestinian men armed with axes and knives killed four people and wounded four in a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday before they were shot dead by police, Israeli media said, the worst such attack in years. A spokesman for Israel’s ambulance service told Army Radio medics were treating nine people, five of them critically wounded. Israel’s Zaka emergency response team said there were a number of fatalities at the scene.
Hundreds of people have attended the funeral ceremony of a Palestinian bus driver, who they say was killed by Israelis in the Occupied West Bank. The ceremony was held in the town of Abu Dis near Jerusalem al-Quds. People chanted slogans against Israel and demanded justice for Hassan Youssef al-Ramouni. According to an autopsy by Israeli authorities, the driver committed suicide in his car on a road in East Jerusalem al-Quds. But al-Ramouni’s family says he was brutally tortured. They blame Israeli settlers for his death. The incident has sparked clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces.
A government minister from a nationalist religious party called Thursday for the Jewish Temple to be rebuilt on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
The statement from Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) breaks a long-standing taboo on high-ranking government officials speaking about changing the fragile status quo on the holy and contested esplanade, and will likely draw ire from official Israeli circles and anger the Arab and Muslim world.
Speaking at an archaeological conference next to the West Bank settlement of Shilo and quoted by Maariv, Ariel called for a third Temple to be built on the site, which today is home to the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque and is considered Judaism’s holiest site and Islam’s third holiest.
“We’ve built many little, little temples,” Ariel said, referring to synagogues, “but we need to build a real Temple on the Temple Mount.”
The Jerusalem site was home to Judaism’s first and second Temples, both of which were destroyed, the second one in 70 CE. The idea of building a third Temple, while popular among some religious and right-wing Jews, is considered outside mainstream Israeli discourse by most. timesofisrael.com
The abduction and murder of a Palestinian teenager yesterday sparked a surge in fighting between Israeli police and Palestinians as tensions in the region rose.
The death of the Palestinian boy, whose body was found in a forest outside Jerusalem, was blamed by Palestinians on Israeli settlers who they claimed were taking revenge for the murders of three Israeli teenagers whose funerals took place on Tuesday.
The latest killing stoked tensions that were already running high and led to a number of clashes between police and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Just hours after Israel buried the three teenagers, relatives of Mohammed Abu Khdeir said the 17-year-old was forced into a car in a neighbourhood of east Jerusalem before it sped off. A burned body was found shortly afterward in a forest.
Late yesterday, the Khdeir family said they had identified the body as Mohammed’s. The teenager’s cousin, Saed Abu Khdeir, said: “It’s a clear crime by [Israeli] settlers in revenge for the killing of the three.”
He said the family witnessed security camera footage of the suspected kidnapping, which purported to show a car approaching Mohammed and taking him away.
In the West Bank, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas accused extremist Jewish settlers of “killing and burning a little boy” and demanded that Israel “hold the killers accountable”.
As news of the youth’s disappearance spread, hundreds of Palestinians in east Jerusalem torched train stations and hurled stones at Israeli police, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades. scotsman.com
Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel have blocked highways and clashed with police in Jerusalem protesting a government decision to cut funds to seminary students who avoided military service. The unrest follows the Finance Ministry decision to stop giving stipends to seminary students, who for decades have been granted military service exemptions that have long stoked resentment in a country whose other Jewish citizens are called to duty at the age of 18.
Israeli police used water cannon on ultra-Orthodox Jewish protesters on Thursday in the southern city of Ashdod, following demonstrations against plans to enlist them in the military. Police also claimed that highways were being blocked across the country as part of the protest. In Ashdod, demonstrators hurled stones at police, injuring two. While in Jerusalem around 400 ultra-Orthodox Jews tried to block the entrance to the city. The trouble follows a Supreme Court ruling this week ordering funding halted to ultra-Orthodox seminaries whose students dodge the draft.