As if the security uncertainty raised by Russia's involvement in Syria was not troublesome enough to global affairs and stability, Israel earlier today, raised that uncertainty by banning Palestinians from Jerusalem's Old City.
Israel's ban and accompanying security raids upon Palestinians in the West Bank and in the Old City, comes amid rising tension with Palestinians over access to Holy sites in the ancient city.
Two Israelis have died and three others wounded in stabbing attacks involving Palestinians since last Friday. Two Palestinian youths have been shot dead by Israeli security forces. And another 18 Palestinians have been shot and wounded by Israeli forces during an arrest raid in the West Bank earlier today.
At issue in this most recent tension between Israelis and Palestinians is access to the Holy site of the Noble Sanctuary, the location of the Muslim Al Aqsa Mosque, where it is believed, the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven. The site is also referred to by Jews as the Temple Mount.
In response to the violence that have killed the two Israelis, the Jewish state: "In an unprecedented measure...barred Palestinians from Jerusalem's Old City on Sunday...", the Associated Press reported earlier today. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed a "harsh offensive" to counter the violence, the AP added.
Thus far, Israel has barred Palestinians from the Holy site for two days during the time of a Jewish holiday. However, access has been granted to Israelis, to Palestinians who live, work and study in the Old City as well as to tourists.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has in the past been able to contain much of the Palestinian tension relating to access to the Holy site. But with this unprecedented ban on Palestinians and subsequent Israeli police raids into the West Bank, the security of the region amid the high tension, remains uncertain.