Israeli police presence grows as Jerusalem tensions persist
Large numbers of Israeli police officers were deployed Monday morning to patrol Jerusalem’s Old City as over 10,000 Jewish worshipers made their way to the Western Wall for a traditional prayer. Palestinians under the age of 50 have been prevented from entering the al Aqsa compound. “A large police presence, which will continue with patrols throughout the alleyway's of the Old City and surrounding east Jerusalem neighborhoods, will be felt on Monday, as our forces continue to ensure the ongoing calm that presided over the area by Sunday afternoon remains that way,” a police spokesman said. “We're taking no chances.”
The announcement came in response to clashes between Israeli police officers and nearly 150 Palestinians Sunday morning that, according to Palestinian medical officials, left nine Palestinians injured. Thirty other Palestinians were injured throughout the week.
On his part, Ezzat Al-Resheq, member of Hamas' political bureau, has warned of a possible "carnage" inside the Aqsa Mosque, and held the Israeli occupation fully responsible for any repercussions. "What is happening in the Aqsa Msoque in terms of sealing it off and besieging Palestinian worshippers inside it is indeed a new Zionist crime aiming at paving the way to destroy the Mosque and to rebuild the alleged Third Temple on its ruins", said Resheq.
Two incidents have been reported on Monday morning: stones were thrown at Jews praying at the Mount of Olives and police officers at the Ras al-Amud circle in east Jerusalem. There were no reported cases of injuries or damages in either incident.