Photo by Mark Philbrick
Thursday, October 30
A prominent Israeli right wing activist, who pushed for greater Israeli control of a Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem, was shot and injured in Jerusalem Wednesday night. A Palestinian, the alleged assailant, was shot and killed early Thursday morning by Israeli security forces in the Abu Tor neighborhood south of the Old City.
In response to the shootings, police cut off access to the Temple Mount for both Jews and Muslims until further notice. A member of Knesset, who is also a right wing activist, attempted to enter the Temple Mount Thursday morning but was turned back by police.
These events have added to ongoing tensions in East Jerusalem that started, in part, with Jewish settlers moving into Arab neighborhoods and increasing numbers of visits by politicians, right wing activists and Orthodox Jews to the Temple Mount.
In light of the current situation, the Center has restricted travel to the Old City and East Jerusalem. Students are studying for exams on Thursday and have been asked stay out of the Old City and other East Jerusalem sites through at least Thursday and Friday and perhaps through the weekend depending upon the security situation. Students leave for Jordan early Monday morning and will be away from Jerusalem for most of the week. Jordan is quiet and safe.
Saturday, October 25
There has been unrest in East Jerusalem and the Old City following incidents near the French Hill light rail stop where a Israeli child was killed and in an East Jerusalem neighborhood where a Palestinian teenager was killed. Both incidents follow rising tensions over the Temple Mount area.
Students were on a field trip in East Jerusalem on Wednesday morning before the start of the current flare up. Students were asked to stay out of both areas Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Decisions about which areas to be off limits will be determined on a day-by-day basis over the next few days.