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In the past few weeks, escalating clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and the Israeli police have become routine in East Jerusalem, prompting observers to note that perhaps the third intifada has finally arrived.The latest protests – as well as three separate attacks in October and early November by lone militants from East Jerusalem targeting Israeli civilians and military personnel – are ostensibly a response to Israel's intention to change the status quo at the holy site.However, in the last 10 years right-wing Jewish groups, which government officials have allowed to operate largely unimpeded, have increasingly encouraged a Jewish presence at the site.The separation wall has made it difficult for West Bank Palestinians to travel to the city, and Israel has closed Palestinian Authority and Palestine Liberation Organization institutions and offices in the city, weakening East Jerusalem's formerly vibrant civil society.In addition, the right-wing Israeli leadership of the Jerusalem municipality has deliberately neglected East Jerusalem neighborhoods in hopes of driving Palestinians out, investing in these quarters only a fraction of what it spends on education, social, and municipal services in the Jewish neighborhoods. Some Palestinian analysts argue that this coming "intifada" is likely to remain confined to Jerusalem and not turn into a popular uprising across the occupied territories.
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