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By Allyn Fisher-Ilan JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli police refused to let the U.N.'s peace envoy to the Middle East, other diplomats and a crowd of Palestinians pass through a barricade to attend a pre-Easter ritual in the Jerusalem church that Christians revere as the burial site of Jesus, the U.N. official said on Saturday. The incident, following two days of violence at a separate holy site known as a flashpoint for Jews and Muslims, underscored rising tensions in the politically charged city ahead of Pope Francis's Holy Land visit next month. Israel dismissed the U.N. complaint, calling it an attempt to inflate a "micro-incident" and saying police at the barricade keep people back as a crowd-control measure while there was no reported violence among the tens of thousands of Christians who thronged to the Holy Sepulchre Church in Jerusalem's old walled city to witness the "Holy Fire" ritual. Robert Serry, the United Nation's peace envoy to the Middle East, said in a statement Israeli security officers had stopped a group of Palestinian worshippers and diplomats in a procession near the church, "claiming they had orders to that effect".
WASHINGTON (AP) — As President Barack Obama travels through Asia this coming week, he will confront a region that's warily watching the crisis in Ukraine through the prism of its own territorial tensions with China.