A Palestinian man attempted to stab an Israeli soldier guarding a Jerusalem Day event, as police spread out across Jerusalem to prevent violence.
The attack occurred Sunday morning at the Gush Etzion junction in the West Bank, where a bicycle trip was passing. The assailant was seriously injured during his capture.
Police and soldiers were positioned throughout the city in advance of the annual Flag march, whose route goes in part through eastern Jerusalem before entering two gates to the Old City of Jerusalem and ending at the Western Wall.
Events were planned all day throughout Jerusalem to mark the 45th anniversary of the city’s reunification.
Israeli lawmakers Michael Ben Ari and Uri Ariel of the right-wing National Union Party led a group of 20 on a tour of the Temple Mount Sunday morning. Ben-Ari and several other participants reportedly attempted to kneel in prayer at the site and were stopped by police. The tour’s leader was arrested during a confrontation with police over the stopped prayers.
Palestinian religious leaders in Jerusalem called on followers to confront Jews celebrating Jerusalem Day in the capital and warned that the Jews would try to storm the Temple Mount and attack Muslims.
Meanwhile, Israel’s Cabinet on Sunday approved a series of plans to strengthen the city of Jerusalem and advance its economic, tourist and social development during a regular Cabinet meeting held on Ammunition Hill, a former military post in eastern Jerusalem and the site of one of the 1967 Six-Day War’s most fierce battles.
The Cabinet decided to build in the city residential developments for those serving in the Israel Defense Forces and Israel Police, which will both speed residential construction and attract a strong population to the city, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.
The Cabinet also approved an allocation of nearly $1 million to develop public and tourist spaces in Jerusalem over the next six years.
“The decisions that we are making today will continue this Government’s considerable investments in Jerusalem in recent years, the results of which we already see today. These investments will help give expression to Jerusalem’s vast potential as a focus for global tourism and will greatly contribute to the development and strength of Israel’s capital,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the meeting.