Palestinian stone-throwers clash with Israeli police in Shuafat..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The IDF Central Command is seeking to stabilize the situation on the ground in the West Bank and greater Jerusalem, a senior security source said on Thursday, ahead of the first Friday of Ramadan and a day after large-scale rioting broke out in Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem.
The Central Command is overseeing efforts to hunt down the two Hamas members from Hebron who are suspected of kidnapping and murdering three Israeli teenagers, and is also involved in efforts to track down the murderer of an east Jerusalem Arab teenager, who was found dead on Wednesday. The circumstances of that slaying remain unknown.
“Our main aim is to achieve stability in Judea and Samaria,” a source said. “This requires responsibility and sound judgment. The days of Ramadan are explosive by nature. The Central Command’s main goal is to restore stability on the ground.”
He noted that Wednesday’s rioting in Jerusalem did not spread to the West Bank, adding, “I hope we are able to maintain that.”
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz ordered the IDF to decrease friction with the Palestinian population, the source said, while also increasing security preparations for Friday and boosting the military’s presence in mixed Jewish-Arab areas.