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Tensions high as synagogue reopens in Jerusalem

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Tensions high as synagogue reopens in Jerusalem


Israeli authorities have stepped up security in and around Jerusalem with fears of attacks after the reopening of a synagogue in the holy city’s Jewish quarter.

The religious project, along with several similar developments, remains deeply divisive with Arabs believing they pose a threat to Islamic sites.

Israel’s army has extended its carpet closure of the West Bank, banning many Palestinians from reaching Jerusalem.

Earlier, thousands of Jews celebrated the reopening of the synagogue. Many remain defiant in the face strained relations with the US.

‘‘This is a message to President Obama and to the whole US administration. We are united in Jerusalem, Jerusalem was ours, will remain ours and these things need to be said clearly to the US, it won’t help you, the whole of the land of Israel is ours, Jerusalem is ours for all eternity,’‘ one man said.

Last week, Israel announced the building of 1600 new homes in occupied East Jerusalem during a visit by US Vice-president Joe Biden.

Washington described the move as “destructive” to peace efforts.

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