Police on Friday geared up for possible unrest in East Jerusalem following Hamas’s victory claim after the just-ended round of fighting between Israel and the Gaza-based terror group.
Border Police forces in East Jerusalem, especially surrounding the Old City and by the entrance and exits of certain Palestinian neighborhoods, were inspecting and questioning those coming and going, the Kan public broadcaster reported.
The Hamas terror group early Friday claimed victory after Israel officially announced it had agreed to a ceasefire, ending the 11 days of fighting.
In recent weeks, some Palestinians on the Temple Mount have waved the terror group’s flag, with a number of worshipers chanting in support of Hamas and calling for it to carry out attacks on Israel.
Palestinian terror groups have tied the rocket fire from Gaza — which ceased on Friday — to unrest in Jerusalem connected to both prayer on the Temple Mount during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and the pending eviction of a number of Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
Meanwhile, in the West Bank, the Israel Defense Forces are also said to be bracing for potential violence, amid concerns of clashes with the military after Friday prayers.
In Hamas-stronghold cities, such as Hebron, the terror group is planning to celebrate “the resistance’s victory” according to Kan.
On Thursday, the IDF announced that Border Police units, initially operating in the West Bank, that had been sent to the central Israeli city of Lod to assist in local unrest, were to return to their original mission.
Local tensions in Lod have significantly calmed since last Saturday after police began mass arrests of those involved in the rioting, and the Shin Bet internal security agency announced it would be assisting in efforts to prevent violence between Jews and Arabs.
On Friday, the Shin Bet said it had arrested a number of Jewish suspects in connection with a May 13 stabbing of an Arab man in Jerusalem.
The victim, in his 20s, was seriously wounded in the attack, which the security service said had a nationalist motive.
The Ynet news site published footage from the immediate aftermath of the attack which apparently showed a mob of right-wing youths assaulting police officers on the scene.
Violence in the West Bank and Jerusalem has increased significantly since the Israel-Gaza conflict began.
On Sunday, seven Border Police soldiers were injured, including two moderately, in a car-ramming attack in Jerusalem’s flashpoint Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
Last Saturday, a Palestinian was shot dead while attempting to commit an attack near Dahariyya Junction in the southern West Bank, the military said. Another similar attempt near Ofra last Friday also resulted in the death of the attacker.
Last Friday also saw at least nine West Bank Palestinians killed by Israeli live fire during violent clashes with the IDF, the Palestinian Authority health ministry said. Palestinians threw rocks, Molotov cocktails and shot fireworks at several locations across the West Bank, according to the IDF.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.