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Israel rejects call for international presence in east


United Nations: Israel today rejected Palestinian calls for a protection force to be deployed in east Jerusalem to quell violence around the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque.

“Let me be crystal clear — Israel will not agree to any international presence on the Temple Mount. Such a presence would be a change in the status quo,” Israeli Deputy Ambassador David Roet told the UN Security Council.

The 15-member council met in an emergency session to discuss weeks of escalating violence between Israel and the Palestinians in Jerusalem and the territories.

Today, Palestinians torched a Jewish holy site in the West Bank as they staged a “Friday of revolution” against Israel and a man posing as a news photographer stabbed an Israeli soldier before he was shot dead.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “strongly condemns this reprehensible act and calls on those responsible to be swiftly brought to justice,” Assistant Secretary General Taye-Brook Zerihoun told the council.

Israeli security forces deployed massively in Jerusalem after two weeks of violence that have left 39 Palestinians dead and hundreds more wounded in clashes with Israeli forces.

Seven Israelis have been killed and dozens wounded.

The violence began on October 1, when a suspected cell of the Islamist movement Hamas murdered a Jewish settler couple in the West Bank in front of their children.

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