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Israel Rejects Observer Plan after More Stabbing Attacks

Israel on Sunday rejected a proposal to send international observers to a flashpoint holy site in a bid to calm unrest after five more stabbing incidents defied a security crackdown.

Diplomatic moves to halt the more than two weeks of unrelenting violence gained steam meanwhile, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry saying he planned to meet both the Israeli and Palestinian leaders in the coming days.

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Palestinian Dressed as Newsman Stabs Soldier, Jewish Shrine Torched Overnight

Palestinians torched a site revered by Jews in the West Bank in an incident that threatened to further inflame two weeks of deadly unrest, as fresh protests erupted Friday.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, under pressure over recent comments that some have labeled incitement, quickly condemned the fire at Joseph's Tomb, in the northern city of Nablus.

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Security Council to Hold Emergency Meeting on Jerusalem Violence

The U.N. Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss an upsurge of violence between Israel and the Palestinians, diplomats said.

The urgent talks were requested by council member Jordan following a meeting on Thursday of Arab ambassadors who expressed alarm at the escalating situation.

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Heavy Security, Israelis Arm themselves after More Knife Attacks

Security forces deployed to Israeli cities Thursday and Jews armed themselves with everything from guns to broomsticks after more stabbings shook Jerusalem, the latest in a wave of Palestinian knife attacks.

Some 300 Israeli soldiers were reinforcing police, stretched thin by an upsurge in violence that began at the start of the month and which has raised fears of a full-scale uprising, or third Palestinian intifada.

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Wave of Stabbings Shake Israel and West Bank

A fresh wave of stabbings shook Israel and the West Bank on Friday, including a suspected revenge attack by a Jewish suspect that wounded two Palestinians and two Arab Israelis.

Attacks also continued against Israelis and Jews, with a Palestinian stabbing a policeman near a West Bank settlement before being shot dead by the victim, who was lightly wounded.

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Israeli Soldiers Shoot Dead Teen as New Clashes Erupt

New clashes erupted Monday in the West Bank and east Jerusalem while Israel's military shot dead a 13-year-old Palestinian after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged a crackdown following attacks that killed four Israelis.

The spike in violence has led to international calls for calm, with concerns the unrest could spin out of control and memories of previous Palestinian uprisings still fresh.

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Hamas Official Calls on Palestinians to 'Take up Arms

A senior Hamas official Saturday called on Palestinians to take up arms to "defend" the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem after a rise in Jewish visitors to the flashpoint site.

"The only solution to defend the Al-Aqsa mosque and to prevent Israelis from carrying out their plans there is for West Bank and Jerusalem residents to take up arms," Mahmoud Zahar said in an interview posted on the Islamist movement's website.

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Palestinian Back on Hunger Strike as Israel Renews Detention

Palestinian Mohammed Allan renewed his hunger strike on Wednesday, his lawyer said, after Israel renewed his detention without trial following an improvement in his health and his release from hospital. 

Allan's recent two-month hunger strike brought him near death and boosted tensions in the occupied West Bank.

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EU Warns against 'Provocation' at al-Aqsa Mosque

The EU warned Tuesday against any "provocation" at Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound as Palestinians and Israeli security forces clashed for a third day.

"The reported violence and escalation (at the site) constitute a provocation and incitement" ahead of important Jewish and Muslim holy days, European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told reporters in Brussels.

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Jordan King Warns Israel against Jerusalem 'Provocation'

Jordan's king warned Israel on Monday that any further "provocation" in Jerusalem where Israeli police have clashed with Muslims at al-Aqsa mosque would damage ties between the two countries.

"Any more provocation in Jerusalem will affect the relationship between Jordan and Israel" which have a 1994 peace accord, said King Abdullah II following a second day of clashes at the flashpoint holy site in annexed east Jerusalem.

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