Photo by Mark Philbrick
Monday, August 3
July 26th marked Tisha B’Av – an annual fast day for Jews commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples. Violence erupted at the Temple Mount between Palestinian youths and Israeli security forces early in the morning. This was an attempt to disrupt the Tisha B’Av prayers/visits at the Temple Mount which Palestinians saw as an intrusion – visits are allowed but Jewish prayer is prohibited at the site. Travel restrictions to the Temple Mount region and Muslim Quarter were placed for the duration of that day.
On July 30th six people were stabbed by an Orthodox Jew during the annual gay parade. The suspect carried out a similar attack in 2005 injuring three. One of the critically wounded victims, a 16 year old girl, passed away earlier today, August 2nd.
On July 31st two houses were set ablaze in Duma, a small village near Nablus in the West Bank. The fire suspected to have been set by Jewish extremists killed an 18 month old Palestinian baby and critically wounded a four year old brother and both parents.
Israeli security forces showed increased presence in Jerusalem and other parts of the country as authorities suspected disturbances in response to the Duma incident. Sporadic demonstrations broke out but were contained and diffused quickly. The Old City and East Jerusalem remained off limits that day.
This morning August 2nd, Palestinian youths threw stones at Israeli Police at the Temple Mount. The Israeli security forces contained the situation. The Old City and East Jerusalem remained off limits until late afternoon due to expected demonstrations. The situation in East Jerusalem remained calm and travel restrictions were lifted.
The situation continues to be monitored as tensions are still running high.