Temple Mount closed to visitors as thousands head to Western Wall

Police officers are spread out across Jerusalem, namely in areas prone to violence.

October 12, 2014 11:00
holiday prayers, October 12

Police officers stand guard at the Old City ahead of massive holiday prayers, October 12. (photo credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

Police beefed up security in the Old City on Sunday, as tens of thousands of worshipers arrived at the Western Wall for traditional holiday prayers.

As part of heightened security measures for the week-long Succot holiday, Temple Mount was closed to visitors for the day. Police and Border Police officers spread out across the capital, with an emphasis on heavily-populated areas prone to violence, namely the Old City.

Major streets surrounding the Old City were closed off as police directed traffic in the area.The Israel Police issued a statement saying they were prepared to preserve the peace and provide security to the many visitors and worshipers.

The beefed up security efforts come amid a period of clashes between security forces and masked Palestinians, in a scene that has become emblematic of prayers at the holy site.

Last week, three policemen were injured in a confrontation with masked Arab men in the Mughrabi Gate area, which leads to the Temple Mount from the Western Wall plaza.

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