IDF soldiers in the West Bank [File].
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Thousands of police and Border Police officers will be stationed in the capital to patrol on the first Friday prayers of Ramadan and in order to stave off tension between Muslims and Jews as the holiday coincides this year with Shavuot.
During Shavuot on Saturday evening and Sunday, thousands of Jews and Muslims will walk the same Old City passageways toward prayers at the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, increasing the possibility for violence. On these Fridays, Jews walking to the Western Wall will be allowed to enter only through the Jaffa Gate.
A spokesman for the Jerusalem District Police said that the preparations were put in effect prior to the attack on Wednesday night in Tel Aviv, and that police don’t know of any specific terrorism warnings in the capital.
Police feared tension earlier this week, when the annual Jerusalem Day Flag Parade brought masses of Israeli Jews marching through the Muslim Quarter to the Western Wall.
Authorities often worry the parade will cause violence, but police were particularly concerned about it coinciding with Ramadan, which was expected to begin on Sunday but started Monday evening.
Police reached an agreement with organizers to begin the march an hour earlier to prevent clashes with Muslim worshipers.
Despite the fears of police and many locals, the Flag Parade passed peacefully.
The police reinforcements will be in force each Friday of Ramadan, June 10, 17, 24 and July 1.