Hamas Islamists warned Israel Monday that it would face escalation unless it withdrew its forces from the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and a flashpoint east Jerusalem neighbourhood within an hour.
"The leadership of the resistance gives the occupation until 6:00 pm (1500 GMT) to withdraw its soldiers... from the blessed Al-Aqsa mosque and Sheikh Jarrah," a Hamas spokesman said in a statement.
"You have been warned."
In addition to ongoing acts of violence committed by both Israeli settlers and forces against the Palestinians, which recently resulted in the injury of hundreds, Israel plans to evict several Palestinians families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighoburhood in east Jerusalem.
Since Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, started, Israel put barriers outside Damascus Gate to prevent the Palestinians from breaking the fast on the steps of the area where thousands of them traditionally gather after the night-time prayers. But it removed them at a later stage.
Israeli settlers regularly storm Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, while strict limitations are imposed by Israeli security forces on the Palestinians who wish to enter it.