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Palestinians arrested for Jerusalem riots

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 Seventeen Palestinians have been arrested for their involvement in recent riots in east Jerusalem, Israeli police said.

A total of 111 people have been arrested in the city over the past 10 days for disturbing public order, Xinhua reported.

Five Jewish men were Sunday detained in Jerusalem’s Old City for attempting to enter the Temple Mount, the site of many clashes between Palestinians and police since June.

Last week, the compound was closed to Muslims and Jews for a day, after a Palestinian shot and seriously injured an Israeli activist who gave a lecture on “Israel Returns to the Temple Mount”.

Fearing that the escalating violence in the capital could spill over to the West Bank and ignite another Palestinian uprising, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet, during its weekly meeting earlier Sunday, approved a bill that seeks stiffer penalties against stone-pelting.

Netanyahu announced the approval of an amendment to the penal code that would enable courts to hand down sentences of up to 20 years in jail for hurling stones or other objects at vehicles, and up to five years for hurling stones at a police officer or a police vehicle.

“Israel is taking vigorous action against terrorists and those who throw stones, petrol bombs and fireworks, and we’ll pass stronger legislation on the issue,” Netanyahu was quoted as saying in a statement from his office.

He said the proposed legislation is meant to restore security to Jerusalem.