For decades, Muslims around the world have been unofficially boycotting Islam's third holiest site, the Al-Aqsa mosque Jerusalem.
Many Muslims believe that visiting legitimizes Israel's claim to the site, which also sits atop the holiest place in Judaism. The Palestinians, meanwhile, are seeking a state with a capital in east Jerusalem, where the mosque is located.
But Palestinian religious authorities at Al-Aqsa and Palestinian officials are now calling on Muslims to visit the shrine, a change that is creating controversy within the Palestinian community.
At least 1,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are on hunger strike in a growing protest movement that has captured the imagination of the Palestinian public. Daily demonstrations are taking place in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in solidarity with the hunger strikers.
The protest outside the West Bank's Ofer prison this past weekend is now familiar scene. For the past two weeks there have been daily rallies there, and across the West Bank. Some joke that holding the protests close to the prison makes it easy for Israeli authorities to arrest and detain them.
Israel's prime minister has formed a national unity government. Like all Israeli leaders, Benjamin Netanyahu leads a coalition government in parliament. He needs to put together multiple parties to have a majority. And by adding the centrist Kadima party to his side, Netanyahu increases his support and avoids the possibility of having to call an early election. NPR's. Lourdes Garcia-Navarro joins us on the line from Israel to tell us what it all means. Lourdes, hi.