Jerusalem (IINA) – Israel began setting up checkpoints in Palestinian areas of Occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday as it struggled to stop a wave of attacks that have raised fears of a full-scale uprising.
A police spokeswoman said checkpoints were being set up at “the exits of Palestinian villages and neighborhoods in east Jerusalem,” where most of the recent attackers have come from. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday he plans to travel to the Middle East to try to calm violence between Palestinians and Israelis and move the situation “away from this precipice.” The trip would mark Kerry’s most direct efforts to broker peace between the two sides since talks led by the United States failed last year. Israel and the Palestinian territories are experiencing their worst unrest in years.
“I will go there soon, at some point appropriately, and try to work to reengage and see if we can’t move that away from this precipice,” Kerry told an audience at an event sponsored by Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
At least seven Israelis and 29 Palestinians, including 10 alleged attackers, have died in the violence. Kerry said the United States’ goal for the region, the two-state solution, “could conceivably be stolen from everybody” if violence were to spiral out of control. Days of violence have been stirred in part by Muslim agitation over increasing Jewish visits to the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Occupied Jerusalem, Islam’s holiest site outside the Arabian Peninsula. The escalating violence has raised speculation that Palestinians could be embarking on another uprising or intifada, reflecting a new generation’s frustrations over their veteran leadership’s failure to achieve statehood.