Over the past month, the issue over access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem caused a new wave of violence and confrontation that has swept over the West Bank. As a result of the new Israeli security measures in Jerusalem, including adding metal detectors to the Temple Mount (al-Haram al-Sharif) where Al-Aqsa is located, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced on July 23 that the Palestinian Authority (PA) would suspend security coordination with Israel, although there have been no signs yet this suspension is being implemented. In turn, and to show its dominance, Israel took some additional punitive measures, such as raiding offices of Palestinian inspectors in Hebron, announcing the expansion of new illegal settlements near Bethlehem, and arresting more Palestinians, especially in Jerusalem.
The situation has generated fears among the international community of another intense round of violence and confrontation that could, as in the past, threaten billions of dollars of investments in the Palestinian state-building project over the last decade. The international donor community remembers well when the EU-funded premises, equipment, and PA infrastructure were flattened by the Israeli incursion of the West Bank during the second intifada.