Israel Bolsters Deployment of Security Forces After Clashes With Palestinian Rioters in East Jerusalem
Israel is ramping up the deployment of its security forces after last night’s violent clashes in East Jerusalem and as Jewish worshipers mark the weeklong holiday of Sukkot.
Israel’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Thursday approved the mobilization of four Border Police companies and the use of designated budgets to strengthen police units in Jerusalem and surrounding areas.
“The security forces are deployed throughout the country to enable the holiday events to be held as usual in Jerusalem and throughout the country (…) while taking a strong and uncompromising position against terrorism and violent disturbances,” Lapid said following a security assessment meeting held in the wake of riots in east Jerusalem and several West Bank towns and amid continued preparations for the holidays.
“The security forces will not rest until they apprehend the terrorists and those who sent them,” Lapid emphasized.
Overnight Wednesday, riots broke out on the streets in a number of neighborhoods and villages in East Jerusalem and surrounding areas as Palestinians threw Molotov cocktails and stones, launched fireworks towards Israeli security forces, burnt garbage and tires, and blocked roads. The rioters also damaged infrastructure, houses and property of the residents of the eastern part of the capital, according to Israel Police.
IDF forces were also deployed to secure the entry of Jewish worshipers to the compound of Joseph’s Tomb in the city of Nablus, where some Palestinian terrorists opened fire at the forces.
“The incidents that took place last night are very serious, and the Israel Police acted with determination to restore peace, and it was achieved,” stated Public Security Minister Omer Barlev.
Israel’s security forces arrested nine suspects overnight, adding up to 23 people who were detained over the past days for their alleged involvement in the Jerusalem violent clashes. The arrests come amid an ongoing wave of Palestinian violence which over the past week took the lives of IDF Staff Sgt. Ido Baruch, 21, and Sgt. Noa Lazar, 18.
Israel is also bolstering its security forces in preparation of the tens of thousands of Israelis who are expected to take part in marches and events across the country, and in particular in Jerusalem, ahead of the Simchat Torah celebrations early next week, Lapid’s office said.
During a situation assessment on Thursday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz underlined the need to increase both offensive and defense efforts, as well as the outreach effort to the Palestinian population to prevent incitement to terrorism on social networks.
“Increased deployment of forces at the centers of friction will continue,” Gantz said.
Lapid also emphasized the importance of bolstering information efforts among Palestinians in order to stop terrorist activity. He stressed that “we must be alert and not allow ‘fake news’ to mislead the public.”
“We are dealing with many cases of incitement online and the distribution of fake news regarding actions that the State of Israel is supposedly doing in the region – these are lies that have no connection with reality,” said Barlev.