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OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israeli police clashed with Palestinians in the flashpoint east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah on Sunday, as a visit by a controversial far-right Jewish lawmaker inflamed tensions.

Police said two people were arrested as they tried to contain “a violent riot”, in the area of annexed east Jerusalem that has emerged as a symbol of Palestinian resistance against Israeli control of the city.

Scuffles broke out as Itamar Ben Gvir of the far-right Religious Zionism alliance opened a parliamentary office in Sheikh Jarrah, in what he described as an effort to show support for its Jewish residents.

More than 200,000 Jewish settlers live in east Jerusalem, in communities widely regarded as illegal under international law.

Efforts by settler groups to expand the Jewish presence in east Jerusalem, which Palestinians claim as their future capital, have further fuelled hostilities.

Ben Gvir, a Jewish nationalist with a long history of incendiary comments about Palestinians, accused police of failing to react to alleged arson attacks on a settler home in Sheikh Jarrah.

“Jewish lives have become worthless,” Ben Gvir charged in a tweet before his visit.

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