The police issued restraining orders to several right-wing activists on Wednesday, banning them from entering parts of Jerusalem during Pope Francis’s visit to the region in the coming days.
“The police and Shin Bet (security service) have taken out restraining orders against several right-wing activists, who according to information from Shin Bet are planning to commit provocative acts during the pope’s visit,” a police spokesman told AFP.
Media reports said three young activists were under house arrest.
Francis is due to arrive in Israel on Sunday after spending the previous day in Jordan. During his two-day sojourn in the Holy Land, the pope will tour Christian sites in Jerusalem as well as the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
Recently, right-wing extremists associated with the so-called “price tag” movement have carried out a series of graffiti attacks on Christian sites.
Earlier this month the Romanian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem was targeted in an attack. The words “price tag,” “Jesus is garbage” and “King David for the Jews,” were found spray-painted on the site’s walls.
The day before that, Hebrew-language graffiti, reading “Death to Arabs and Christians and those who hate Israel,” was daubed over offices of the Assembly of Bishops at the Notre Dame center, a Vatican-owned complex opposite the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City.
AFP contributed to this report.