Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday barred far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir from entering Muslim areas of Jerusalem’s Old City and holding a rally, in a bid to stem further violence. Tensions in Israeli-occupied east Jerusalem have spiked in recent weeks, amid nearly a month of deadly violence in Israel and the occupied West Bank, with the Jewish Passover festival coinciding with the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. The ban is intended to prevent further violence in the Old City, including in the Al-Aqsa mosque, where clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli forces left more than 170 injured on Friday and Sunday. Ben Gvir had announced he would take part in a rally on Wednesday evening, saying he would march through the Damascus Gate, the main entrance to the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. Bennett accepted the recommendation of security chiefs to prevent Ben Gvir from entering the Damascus Gate. “I have no intention of allowing petty politics to endanger human lives,” Bennett said in a statement. “I will not allow a political provocation by Ben Gvir to endanger IDF (Israeli army) soldiers and Israeli police officers, and render their already heavy task even heavier”. Israeli police had earlier banned the rally from taking place on the proposed route. Ben Gvir is a controversial member of the opposition, whose supporters occasionally chant “Death to the Arabs.” Right-winger Bennett, a key figure in Israel’s settlement movement, leads a fragile coalition government. Earlier this month, Bennett’s coalition lost its one-seat majority of 61 in the 120-seat Knesset, Israel’s parliament, after a member left in a dispute over the use of leavened bread products in hospitals during Passover. Then on Sunday, the Raam party, drawn from the country’s Arab-Israeli minority and with four members of the Knesset, suspended its support for the coalition following violence at the Al-Aqsa mosque. Meanwhile, right-wing coalition lawmakers are under pressure to quit the government, which is seen by some in the Israeli right as being too favourable to Palestinians and Israel’s Arab minority. “Bennett, coalition security is not state security,” Ben Gvir said on Twitter Wednesday, threatening to go to Damascus Gate if the police “did not compromise” on the route of the march. Last year, the Islamist Hamas movement launched a barrage of rockets towards Israel when a similar ultra-nationalist march was to begin in the Old City.