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2 Palestinians detained in Jerusalem after 'explosives' found

Feb. 24, 2016 11:02 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 24, 2016 10:23 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli police detained two Palestinians at Herod's Gate in Jerusalem's Old City on Wednesday morning after they were allegedly found to be carrying improvised explosive devices.

Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld told Ma'an that two explosive decides -- reported by Israeli media to be pipe bombs -- were found as the two men went through a "regular police check" at the gate.

Rosenfeld said the explosives were removed from the site with no injuries, and police were "looking into the background" of the incident.

He added that "security measures" were ongoing, and witnesses told Ma'an that Israeli forces, including intelligence officials, had closed off the area.

The Old City in occupied East Jerusalem has been one of the major focal points of violence since a wave of unrest swept the occupied Palestinian territory in October last year.

Tensions surrounding the Old City's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, as well as a deadly knife attack carried out there by Muhannad Halabi early in October, served to trigger much of the subsequent violence, which has so far left nearly 180 Palestinians and 30 Israelis dead.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said last month it was "human nature" for Palestinians to react violently to Israel's nearly 50-year military occupation, as he urged a change in Israeli policy in the occupied Palestinian territory.

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