Israel’s Channel 10 reported Thursday that Arab stone-throwing attacks have increased 50% since it was announced that U.S. President Barack Obama would visit Israel, and Palestinian Authority controlled areas later this month.
More than 1,000 incidents have taken place since the beginning of the year the report said, and 150 incidents of Molotov cocktails being thrown have also been recorded. IDF officials said, however, they did not expect a third intifada to break out.
Following reports of possible rioting ahead of Obama’s visit, police and border guards were deployed in the Old City and east Jerusalem neighborhoods Friday afternoon.
Jerusalem Police were restricting entrance Friday for Muslim prayers on the Temple Mount, allowing only men over the age of 50 with Israeli ID cards to enter in an attempt to prevent rioting after midday prayers. The same restrictions do not apply to women.
“Police will take a firm hand against any attempt to disrupt the order,” the Israel Police said in a statement.