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Arab League warns of Jerusalem 'red line'

AFP , Sunday 2 Nov 2014
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The Arab League warned Sunday that Israel has reached a "red line" after fresh clashes in Jerusalem, urging international pressure to stop what it branded "violations" in the holy city.

Israel ordered the compound closed to all visitors, both Jewish and Muslim, early on Thursday after an overnight shooting incident in which a man on a motorbike tried to gun down an ultranationalist Jewish activist who has long worked to secure Jewish prayer rights at the Al-Aqsa plaza.

Al-Aqsa and adjacent neighbourhoods have seen months of violence, with the mosque compound a rallying point for Palestinian resistance to perceived Jewish attempts to take control of it.

"Israel has reached a red line," Arab League deputy chief Ahmed Ben Hilli said after an assembly of the 22-member bloc's delegates.

He called on Arabs and the international community "to put a stop to these practices by the Israeli occupation authorities in Jerusalem".

"Touching Jerusalem will lead to results with untold consequences," he added.

On Sunday, Israeli far-right lawmaker Moshe Feiglin visited the compound in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, pressing for Jews to be allowed to pray there despite the heightened tensions over its status.

He was met with protests from Muslims crying "Allahu akbar" (God is greater).

The United States on Thursday urged all sides in Jerusalem to exercise restraint in the holy city, and said it was working with Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians to try to restore calm.

Arab east Jerusalem, which was seized by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed in a move never recognised internationally, has been wracked by violence since early July, with clashes erupting between Palestinians and police forces on an almost daily basis.

*The story was edited by Ahram Online.

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