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How Jerusalem tensions sparked heaviest Israel-Gaza fighting in years

By ET News

Weeks of violent clashes in East Jerusalem have ignited the heaviest fighting in years between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

At the core of the violence that has left dozens dead are tensions between Israelis and Palestinians over Jerusalem, which contains sites sacred to Judaism, Islam and Christianity. As both sides appear to be digging in for more prolonged fighting, here are some of the factors that triggered the escalation.

RAMADAN PROTESTS, JERUSALEM EVICTIONS
Since the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in mid-April, Palestinians have faced off nightly with Israeli police in East Jerusalem, who put up barriers to stop evening gatherings at the walled Old City’s Damascus Gate.

Palestinians saw the barriers as a restriction on their freedom to assemble. Police said they were there to maintain order.

Tensions have also been high over a long-running legal case that could see multiple Palestinian families evicted from their homes to make way for Israeli settlers who, backed by an Israeli court ruling, want to move in.

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