Police prepare for more Jerusalem violence

By Jessica Elgot, October 6, 2009
Temple Mount will be closed apart from to Muslim women and men over 50

Temple Mount will be closed apart from to Muslim women and men over 50

Police in Jerusalem are preparing for more violence in Jerusalem and will be on high alert during today’s annual Succot Jerusalem march, which 70,000 people are expected to attend.

Access to the Temple Mount will be restricted to Muslim women and to Muslim men over the age of 50.

Jordan is said to have been in talks with Israel over allowing Jews to visit the Temple Mount, and is said to have asked the Israeli government to stop access indefinitely until the situation is calmer, according to reports in Ha'aretz.

The precautions come after new waves of violence in Jerusalem. The unrest began when police were called after Charedi men praying at the Mount of Olives had rocks thrown at them by a group of Arabs.

The city’s officials said they took the decision to close the Temple Mount to men over 50, after wheelbarrows full of rocks were found around the mosque, which police believed were in preparation for more riots in the Old City.

Jerusalem Police Chief Aharon Franco said: “There's a certain degree of ungratefulness from the city's Muslim population after the police worked hard to allow peaceful prayers on the Temple Mount over the month of Ramadan.”

But his comments were not well received by Jerusalem’s Arab leaders. Knesset member Ahmed Tibi, declared: “We don't need any favours. What we need is for you and your friends to uphold your duty to us as citizens and as people.”

Last updated: 11:47am, October 6 2009