Israeli Police Gird for Temple Mount Violence as Unrest Persists

Palestinian Muslim women from the Muoribatat group shout slogans and hold the Koran during a protest against police in Jerusalem's Old City on September 17, 2015. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Palestinian Muslim women from the Muoribatat group shout slogans and hold the Koran during a protest against police in Jerusalem’s Old City on September 17, 2015. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Police officials said they would limit Muslim access to the Temple Mount Friday morning as the capital geared up for possible violence after a week that saw several heavy clashes atop the holy site.

Police said they would prohibit the entry of men under 40 to the compound after receiving intelligence reports indicating “young Arabs” planned to disrupt the peace during Muslim Friday prayers at the site, a spokesperson said.

Women at all ages will be allowed on the esplanade, known as Haram al-Sharif to Muslims.

The move comes as unrest persists in some parts of the capital, touched off by days of clashes between Israeli forces and Muslim protesters at the Temple Mount.

Police have beefed up their presence across the city, including bolstering positions in the Old City and near the Temple Mount, in a bid to quell the protests.

The rock throwing, which turned deadly Sunday night when an Israeli motorist was hit with rocks thrown from a Palestinian neighborhood and crashed his car in a southern neighborhood of the city, has vexed officials, and political leaders have vowed to crack down on stonings and other “popular” attacks via harsher punishments and allowing increased use of force, including live fire.

Several rock and firebomb attacks were reported in parts of Jerusalem Thursday evening. A bus driver was lightly wounded when rocks were thrown at his bus near the Hizmeh checkpoint. Elsewhere, near Mount Scopus, Palestinians coming from the village of Isawiyah threw Molotov cocktails at a guard post.

Rocks were also hurled at the light rail near the Shuafat neighborhood, causing damage but no casualties.

A bus also caught fire near the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-Amud, in a suspected Molotov cocktail attack. The driver said he left the bus after being hit by rocks and returned to find the vehicle alight. No injures were reported in that incident.

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SOURCE: JUDAH ARI GROSS
THE TIMES OF ISRAEL 

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