UN Security Council to discuss Israeli-Palestinian unrest

Meeting called as Israel deploys more troops to Gaza border; a Palestinian is killed after stabbing an Israeli soldier

Israeli security forces tend to an injured soldier, next to the body of a Palestinian man who attacked him, outside Hebron, in the occupied West Bank, Oct. 16, 2015.
Hazem Bader / AFP / Getty Images

The U.N. Security Council is set to hold a special meeting today to discuss the surge in violence between Israelis and Palestinians that has left 39 people dead over the past two weeks.

The meeting, which diplomats said was called at the request of council member Jordan, will include a briefing from the U.N. secretariat on the situation on the ground, the U.N. said on Thursday.

It comes amid tension on the ground in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

On Friday, Israel deployed more troops to the border with Gaza, where the ruling Palestinian group Hamas has called for Day of Rage demonstrations. In the West Bank, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed group with affiliations to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party, announced it was breaking a yearlong truce with Israel, — a move that could be a prelude to more armed confrontations.

Also on Friday, a Palestinian man wearing a yellow "press" vest stabbed and wounded a soldier in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron Friday before being shot dead by Israeli forces. A 24-year-old Palestinian was also shot and killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, local news agencies reported.

The recent spike in unrest has seen at least 33 Palestinians and seven Israelis killed in a cycle of violence and security crackdowns. The Palestinian dead include 10 knife-wielding assailants, some of whom have killed Israeli civilians, police said, as well as children and protesters shot in violent demonstrations.

The violence has been triggered in part by Palestinians' anger over what they see as increased Jewish encroachment on Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which is also revered by Jews as the Temple Mount, the location of two destroyed biblical Jewish temples.

On Friday, Israeli forces prevented men under the age of 40 from praying at the mosque as part of a bid to preclude Palestinian protests. Meanwhile, tensions in the West Bank were inflamed after suspects set fire to a Jewish shrine.

U.N. diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that no resolution was planned in conjunction with Friday’s meeting but that there might be an attempt to get the council to issue a statement aimed at urging the two sides to curb the violence.

Since the latest uptick in violence, protests against Israel's ongoing occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip have grown in frequency.

Israeli forces have responded with increasing force, using tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and live ammunition against demonstrators.

Speaking to local radio on Thursday, Ayelet Shaked, the Israeli justice minister and a member of the ultranationalist Jewish Home party, said alleged attackers and their "supportive" family members would be stripped of their Jerusalem residency rights and social security.

Most Palestinians who live in occupied East Jerusalem do not have Israeli or Palestinian Authority citizenship and instead carry an Israeli-issued residency permit.

Shaked's announcement is the latest in a wave of harsh measures introduced amid tit-for-tat attacks between Israelis and Palestinians. The ongoing violence has been used as "an excuse for Israel to get rid of as many Palestinians [in Jerusalem] as possible,” said Rima Awad, a member of the Coalition for Jerusalem, a group that campaigns for Palestinian rights in the city.

Israel has also moved to expedite the demolition of family homes belonging to Palestinians accused of attacking Israeli forces or civilians.

On Thursday, Israeli forces delivered at least seven home demolition orders to the families of suspected Palestinian assailants, according to the rights group HaMoked.

The families were told they had 72 hours to evacuate their houses.

Israeli troops set up roadblocks and additional checkpoints across the city and sealed off entire Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem on Wednesday.

Al Jazeera and wire services

Find Al Jazeera America on your TV

Get email updates from Al Jazeera America

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get email updates from Al Jazeera America

Sign up for our weekly newsletter