Jerusalem’s on fire, and it’s poised to spread in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank

The Israel Police have failed to contain the violence in the capital — the worst in at least 4 years — and the country’s political leadership is nowhere to be found

To get a sense of the unparalleled potency of the city of Jerusalem you would have only needed to look at Latrun Junction on Saturday afternoon to watch dozens of young Muslim men and women, carrying prayer rugs, marching off in the direction of the Temple Mount after police kicked them off buses heading toward the capital for fear they would take part in violent protests at the holy site.

These pilgrims, mostly from Arab towns in northern Israel, made it to the Old City for evening prayers after hiking more than 30 kilometers (19 miles).

For weeks, the raw emotional, religious and nationalistic power of Jerusalem has been out of control, driven by a deadly convergence of interconnected and disparate events, all taking place during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which often sees heightened tensions.

The Israel Defense Forces, Shin Bet security service, and Israel Police have struggled to contain the violence and have enjoyed little assistance from the political echelon in attempting to do so, with Israeli lawmakers failing to cooperate with one another as the various parties struggle to form a government coalition.

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