As part of ongoing security operations since clashes broke out some three weeks ago, police arrested overnight Wednesday a further 15 men suspected of playing key roles in recent violent demonstrations against Israeli security measures at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Officers and border guards, equipped with arrest warrants, raided homes in East Jerusalem and detained the suspects for questioning, police said in a statement.
Raids took place in A Tur, Beit Hanina, Wadi Joz and Ras Al Amoud.
The detainees are suspected of taking part in riots and endangering lives, the statement said.
Following questioning they will be brought before a court to have their detention extended.
Police said that by using a combination of groundwork, intelligence-gathering, documentation, and “sophisticated use of technologies,” they were able to identify major instigators of violent rioting.
During the clashes, dozens of Palestinians gathered in a number of locations and threw stones, glass bottles and Molotov cocktails, set dumpsters alight, blocked roads, and launched firecrackers at security forces.
Five protesters were killed and a number of officers were injured during the rioting.
“The Israel police takes a serious view of efforts to riot with the aim of shaping reality and to influence decision making, and will not allow it,” the statement said.
The latest arrests come just two days after 33 people were detained in similar raids over the violence. Thirty-one of those have had their remands extended, with nine already being handed indictments.
Israel installed new security measures at the Temple Mount following a July 14 terror attack in which three Arab-Israelis shot dead two police officers using weapons smuggled into the site. The move led to almost two weeks of unrest from East Jerusalem and West Bank Palestinians in protest of the changes.
Muslim worshipers had refused to enter the Temple Mount until the security installations at entrances to the site were removed, while protesters staged near-daily protests in and around East Jerusalem and the West Bank, some of which turned violent.
A week after the Temple Mount terror attack, a Palestinian terrorist broke into a home in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank and stabbed three members of a single family to death while they were having Shabbat dinner. In a Facebook post hours before his spree, the terrorist cited the events surrounding the Temple Mount as a main motivator.
The crisis was contained last week when Israeli authorities removed the newly installed measures amid heavy pressure from Jordan, the custodian of the Temple Mount, and the Palestinians.
The site is revered by Jews as the home of two destroyed biblical Temples, and is the holiest site in Judaism. Known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary), it is the third-holiest site of Islam and houses the Dome of the Rock shrine and the Al-Aqsa mosque.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.