Video: Jerusalem remains obstacle

The status of Jerusalem remains a key hurdle to Middle East peace.

    Barack Obama, the US president, is attempting to seal an Arab-Israeli peace deal that has eluded the region for more than six decades.

    Ahead of an initiative expected to be announced in September, Al Jazeera is examining the prospects for peace in a week-long series from Israel, the West Bank, Gaza and Jordan.

    In the third of the series, Al Jazeera's Dan Nolan looks at the hurdles posed by the fight over Jerusalem, a city holy to Muslims, Christians and Jews.

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    Despite having an area of only 0.9 square km, the Old City is home to sites of key religious importance, among them the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque.

    Though the international commuity recognises an Israeli West Jerusalem and a Palestinian East Jerusalem, Palestinians say their neighbourhoods are under threat from right-wing settler groups.

    This year, approximately 300 Palestinians, including 130 children, were either forcibly displaced or affected as a result of house demolitions ordered or carried out by the Israeli authorities in East Jerusalem.

    Earlier this month, Israeli security forces forcibly evicted two Palestinian families from the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, sparking international condemnation.

    The United Nations and its member states have said the evictions run counter to Israel's obligations under international law.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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