Jerusalem protests: How violent clashes in Israel could boost Benjamin Netanyahu

Among the institutions disrupted by Monday's clashes was Jerusalem District Court, where the corruption case against one Benjamin Netanyahu had to be prematurely adjourned. One of the unexpected consequences of the violence may be a boost to Mr Netanyahu who last week gave up trying to cobble together Israel’s next government. The fourth election in two years has produced deadlock in the Knesset and today Mr Netanyahu must surely be telling anyone who listens, "look what can happen when I’m not firmly in charge?" Now as acting Prime Minister he is looking tough on Hamas in Gaza while at the same time the Palestinian issue – which he has deftly sidelined in recent years – is garnering international attention once more. The East Jerusalem eviction issue is easy for the world to understand.

You don’t need to be an expert on the Middle East to understand the trauma associated with the threat of being kicked out of what’s been your home for the last 65 years.

ITV News Senior International Correspondent John Irvine describes the impact of rockets fired by Hamas militants

This video contains distressing images

The young Palestinian Jerusalemites who’ve demonstrated here in recent days are feeling pleased with themselves. They forced Israel’s Supreme Court to postpone further consideration of the eviction case; they forced the powers that be to prevent Israeli nationalists from going onto the Temple Mount yesterday; and they forced the re-routing of an Israeli parade that was due to pass through the Muslim Quarter of the Old City. Battles between Hamas in Gaza and Israel have a grimly familiar choreography. A few days of escalation in the exchanges before Qatari and Egyptian mediators step in to negotiate a truce. That’s the way it normally goes, but unexpected mass casualty attacks by either side may worsen things considerably.

Palestinians clash with Israeli security forces at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound Credit: Mahmoud Illean/AP

As for Jerusalem, there’s nothing particularly inflammatory in the diary for today. Hamas say they launched rockets at the Jerusalem area on Monday evening because of the actions of the Israeli security forces on the al-Aqsa Mosque compound. That esplanade is the epicenter of the issue. It’s the third holiest site in Islam and the most revered place in Judaism, having been where the Second Temple was situated before its destruction by the Romans. I remember witnessing the start of the second Palestinian intifada just a few days after the provocative visit of Israeli politician Ariel Sharon to the Temple Mount in September 2000. That uprising wasn’t called the al-Aqsa Intifada for nothing.