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Israel:death toll in recent surge of violence reaches 50

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By Euronews
Israel:death toll in recent surge of violence reaches 50

There is a heightened state of security in Israel as the number of people who have died in a recent wave of violence reaches 50.

Euronews takes a brief look at what is happening and why.

What is fuelling the current surge in anger?

The violence has been partly set off by Palestinian anger at what is seen as increased Jewish encroachment on Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque complex.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he seeks no change to the decades-long status quo at the holy site, also revered by Jews as the place where two biblical temples once stood.

However, rumour remains rife in the Palestinian community.

How many people have died so far?

The violence over the past two weeks has so far killed 41 Palestinians, eight Israelis and one Eritrean national who was caught up in a shooting on Sunday.

Eyewitnesses say the man was shot by a security officer in the bus station in Beersheba, before being targeted by bystanders who believed he was also a gunman.

Israeli police say they have launched an investigation.

Israel suspends construction of barrier between Armon Hanatziv and Jabal Mukaber

Israel has erected a ten metre high temporary wall between the Jewish neighbourhood of Armon Hanatziv and the adjacent Palestinian neighbourhood of Jabal Mukaber.

Police say it is a temporary measure to prevent objects being thrown at Jewish dwellings. But it caused outrage at meeting of the Israeli security cabinet on Sunday with officials claiming it is a de facto division of Jerusalem. It is being reported in the media: that construction has been suspended.

Roadblocks have been set up in Palestinian neighbourhoods of East Jerusalem.

Thousands of police and Israeli Defence Force troops have been deployed around the country to maintain order.

A diplomatic solution?

US Secretary of State John Kerry has urged both sides to clarify the state of the al-Aqsa mosque.

He will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Germany in the coming week and will also hold talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas although no time or location has yet been set.

In the wider international community, Germany has described itself as “very concerned” about the situation and has urged both sides to avoid making it worse.

A proposal by France for an international observer presence at the holy site has been rejected by Israel and the US.