U.S. and UN express concern to Israel over Jerusalem violence ahead of nationalist march
Rebecca Falconer
May 9, 2021·2 min read
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The United Nations on Sunday called on Israel to show "maximum restraint and respect the right to freedom of peaceful assembly" and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan expressed "serious concerns" about violence in Jerusalem.
Driving the news: Over 250 Palestinians and several Israeli police officers have been wounded since Friday during protests over planned evictions of Palestinian families from their homes in the city's east — which Sullivan also expressed concern about, per a White House statement.
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Israeli police have used tear gas, stun grenades, water cannons and rubber bullets on protesters, who've thrown "rocks and water bottles" at officers, per NPR. The violence continued into Monday morning, AP notes.
Sullivan "encouraged the Israeli government to pursue appropriate measures to ensure calm during Jerusalem Day" Monday, per the statement — a reference celebrations of Israel's capturing in a 1967 war east Jerusalem, where the Old City is located.
For the record: An annual march by hardline nationalist Israelis past holy sites in the area to mark Jerusalem Day is seen as "provocative," per AP.
Amos Gilad, a former high-ranking Israeli defense official, is among those calling for the march to be postponed or canceled, the BBC reports.
"The powder keg is burning and can explode at any time," Gilad said.
Of note: Israel's Supreme Court postponed f0r 30 days a hearing Sunday on the possible eviction of several Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem following the unrest.
What he's saying: As his opponents held talks on forming a government after he failed to do so earlier this month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "We will enforce law and order decisively and responsibly."
Go deeper: U.S. tries to de-escalate crisis in Jerusalem
Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.
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