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Christian expert: Israel violence 'worrying'

Earlier an Arab demonstrator became the latest death during mounting violence over the rights to a holy site in Jerusalem's Old City.

Police shot him dead a day after a Palestinian from the West Bank city of Nablus stabbed and killed a 20-year-old Israeli soldier at a Tel Aviv train station.

Another Palestinian yesterday stabbed three people at a bus stop next to a West Bank settlement, killing a 25-year-old Israeli woman and wounding two others.

Israel police have used rubber bullets and tear gas to try and disperse protestors away from the holy site in Jerusalem's Old City, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

The site is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam after Mecca and Medina, and the location of the biblical temples, the most sacred place in Judaism.

Presenter of Premier's Middle East North Africa Analysis, Dr Harry Hagopian spoke on the News Hour: "Tensions are certainly increasing. They're being ramped up with killings on both sides.

"So I do worry about Jerusalem and I do worry about the political situation and the tensions that increase almost exponentially."

There have been fears the violence could spark a conflict similar to that seen in the Summer in Gaza but Dr Hagopian said that would not happen.

"Gaza is a self-enclosed enclave and therefore going into Gaza was an entirely different issue.

"The geography and the demography of the West Bank is different."

Meanwhile a Catholic Bishop in Jerusalem has thanked pilgrims from charity Aid to the Church in Need for going ahead with a planned trip in spite of increased tension in the Holy Land.

Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem said the pilgrimage had "strengthened" the local community.

"We must try to be a bridge between different communities," he said, "peace does not seem possible for politicians but for God everything is possible."

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