Police raise terror alert in Jerusalem after attack threat

Alert also issued for Ma'aleh Adumim; patrols increased; check points set up between Har Hatzofim and Ma'aleh Adumim, along Route 443.

By MELANIE LIDMAN, YAAKOV LAPIN
August 21, 2011 20:01
2 minute read.
Police roadblock in east Jerusalem's Ras El Amud A

police al aksa pretty 311 AJ. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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Following a relatively violent Friday in the nation's capital, Jerusalem police significantly raised the terror alert on Sunday afternoon citing intelligence that pointed to a possible terrorist attack in the city.

A terror alert was also issued in Ma'aleh Adumim on Sunday evening. Police said that they had strengthened patrols and were checking cars and suspicious persons.

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Check points were set up between Har Hatzofim and Maa'leh adumim and along Route 443 at the Ofer and Maccabim Junctions. The extra security checks caused major delays and traffic jams. More than 10 km of delays were reported.

Palestinian news source Al Resalah reported that police had blocked entry for Muslim worshipers at the Aksa Mosque as well.

Sunday's heightened terror alert came after Jerusalem police faced the third and so far the most violent Friday of Ramadan, a traditionally tense time when thousands of people pour into the Old City to pray at the Aksa Mosque.

Seven were arrested in clashes at Damascus Gate and at the entrance to the Temple Mount in several incidents.

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In the largest clashes, dozens of Muslims tried to force their way through a police checkpoint outside Damascus Gate. Police broke up the riots using water cannons and shock grenades. Two people were arrested.

For the first time during Ramadan, police had put limitations on Muslims entering the Temple Mount, allowing only men over age 50 and women over age 40 with blue Israeli ID cards to enter. These limitations are put in place when violence is anticipated, and in this case were a response to Thursday’s terrorist attacks near Eilat.

Hundreds of Muslims who had been denied entry to the Old City stayed to pray outside the Damascus Gate, where police and border police, including mounted officers, waited tensely.

Prayers ended without additional violence.

In other incidents, one youth was arrested at the Lion’s Gate for trying to circumvent the police blockade and another youth was arrested in the Ras al-Amud neighborhood for throwing rocks and firecrackers at a checkpoint.

Jpost.com staff contributed to this report

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