Despite the relatively calm Friday prayers held on the Temple Mount today, violent riots along the Gaza Strip border have reportedly left two dead, and approximately 100 injured. Throughout the 30 locations across the Palestinian territories, rioters burning tires, throwing Molotov cocktails and rocks at IDF forces, were met with riot control and dispersal measures.
Palestinians violently rioting in villages across the West Bank Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
At the end of the Friday prayers on the Temple Mount, violent disturbances and riots broke out in about 30 locations in the West Bank and along the Gaza Strip border. The IDF reported that rioters burned tires, threw Molotov cocktails and rocks that was met by measures of riot control. Palestinians report that two rioters were killed during violent demonstrations along the Gaza border and approximately 100 have been injured.
As previously reported by JOL, after yesterday’s first day of rage took place in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, Israeli security forces prepared for an escalation at possible points of confrontation across the country, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
Palestinians throw rocks and Molotov cocktails at IDF forces Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
Even prior to the end of the prayers, disturbances were reported in Tekoa, Huwara, Beit Hanoun on the border of Gaza and Bil’in, near the security fence. The riots were handled by the security forces through means of crowd dispersal. Hundreds of protesters gathered at the Damascus Gate, although police forces are preventing them from disrupting the peace.
A Hamas procession in northern Gaza Strip, Friday morning Photo Credit: Channel 2 News
According to the IDF’s update, during the 30 violent disturbances that took place across the West Bank and Gaza, some 3,000 Palestinians burned tires, threw Molotov cocktails and rocks at IDF and Border Police forces. The primary locations where riots broke out are at the Israel Police barricade, Rachel’s Tomb, Al Arub, Tulkarm, Qalandiya and Beit Ummar.
IDF forces responded by means of riot dispersal, even firing warning shots into the air. So far, according to the IDF, six rioters have been arrested and approximately 10 were injured. Along the border with the Gaza Strip, hundreds of Palestinians participated in riots takes place at six locations along the fence, where they too, burned tires and threw rocks at IDF forces. IDF forces responded to the attacks with riot control measures, though one IDF force opened fire at and hit two main riot instigators.
Disturbances in Jerusalem Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
Last night, a special forces unit of the Jerusalem Police arrested seven Palestinian radicals in East Jerusalem, following intelligence information on their intent to organize and lead mass violent riots at the Temple Mount and later in various parts of the city.
The Israel Police believe that these arrests and the significant decision to not restrict any worshiper’s entrance to the Temple Mount greatly contributed to the relative calm in which the Temple Mount’s Friday prayers passed, to which some 32,000 Muslims attended. However, senior police officials clarified that there is still great tension and that small, local disturbances are still expected in the coming days.