Israel’s security services deployed troops across the Jerusalem area Friday to ward off possible violence by Palestinians, fearing they would hold a “Day of Rage” to protest Israel’s military actions in Gaza and the arrests of terror leaders in the West Bank, Israel Hayom reported.
Hundreds of Border Police soldiers were positioned in the Old City, East Jerusalem and the surrounding area. The police’s district commander ordered a bar on entrance to the Temple Mount for men under the age of 40, due to intelligence that indicated youths planned to hold demonstrations following the Friday prayer services.
On Thursday, the IDF and the Shin Bet carried out a wave of arrests in the West Bank, detaining 55 alleged members of terror organizations, including several members of parliament. IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz oversaw the operation personally.
Most of the arrested men belong to Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, the military said. They were handed over to the Shin Bet for questioning.
The IDF reported a steep rise in violent activities in the West Bank during the week of fighting in Gaza. Rocks and molotov cocktails were thrown at civilian cars and a bus was shot at from a passing car near Gush Etzion junction, south of Jerusalem. In Jerusalem’s Old City, a young woman stabbed a soldier on Thursday.
Angry demonstrations erupted in cities all across the West Bank, in some cases leading to clashes with IDF troops; in others, they were dispersed by Palestinian security forces.
Elhanan Miller contributed to this report