In the cauldron of heated tension that is the Middle East, a group of Jewish settlers demonstrated on the West Bank. The focus of their protest was President Barack Obama following his condemnation of Israeli plans to build more settlement homes here.
In east Jerusalem the scenes were violent. Elsewhere a 16-year-old Palestinian boy was killed, believed to have been shot in the chest by Israeli security forces. A second died as a result of injuries he received yesterday. Militant Palestinians fired at least three rockets in southern Israel. No one was hurt in those attacks.
On the diplomatic front, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met with Israeli President Shimon Peres. Negotiations on the path to resolving the situation can only work, he stressed, in an atmosphere of calm.
“As we seek a diplomatic way forward, it is vital to ease tensions on the ground. We have got to bring an immediate end to all violence, calm the situation and protect civilians.”
Earlier Mr. Ban got a brief geography lesson from the Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on a trip overlooking the city of Ramallah. The UN Secretary General added to the condemnation of Israel’s plans to build 1600 new homes in east Jerusalem, saying the settlements are illegal.