The rockets, riots, and airstrikes that convulsed Israel and the neighboring Palestinian territories in recent weeks thrust one of the world’s most challenging conflicts back into the headlines. More than 250 Palestinians and a dozen Israelis died and thousands more were injured before a ceasefire was declared on Thursday.
The violence first broke out along a mile-long arc of ancient tombs, gates, and shrines in Jerusalem that evoke deep emotion among many Jews and Muslims. Located in the city’s eastern sector, which was annexed by Israel in 1980 and is considered occupied territory by the international community, these sites serve as focal points in the struggle by Palestinians to stem right-wing Jewish attempts to settle in traditionally Arab areas.
The immediate trouble