Police raised the level of alert across the country for fear of terror attacks, riots near the Temple Mount and Arab villages in protest at the Beit Hanoun killings.
In this atmosphere, police also fear that right-wing activists could try to disrupt the gay pride parade in Jerusalem on Friday, despite a compromise between haredi and gay leaders that a planned march in Jerusalem is replaced by a gathering at the Givat Ram Stadium in the city.
Police will coordinate operations with the Border Guard and the Israel Defense Forces.
Police presence will be exceptionally boosted in Jerusalem, along and the Green Line with the West Bank.
Police chief Moshe Karadi decided to raise the level of alert after Arab Israeli groups called for a protest on Friday against the killing of 18 Palestinians on Wednesday by shells fired into Beit Hanoun by the Israeli army.
The protest will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday in Nazareth.
The Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement also called for protests in Nazareth on Friday.
Due to fears of disturbances during Friday prayers at the Temple Mount, Jerusalem Police decided to beef up its deployment around the complex and in Old City alleyways.
Police received specific intelligence information on possible disturbances, and will therefore limit the age of men allowed to attend the prayer sessions to 45 and up; women’s entrance into the Temple Mount will not be limited.
As previously mentioned, the fear of rioting in Jerusalem is related both to the Beit Hanoun incident and the planned gay pride parade, as religious courts in the Palestinian Authority have instructed Muslim worshipers to prevent the parade from taking place.
Sheikh Tamimi said the Israeli government’s has permitted gay rights groups to hold the parade in Jerusalem as part of its effort to ‘Jewify the city and hurt its sanctity and spiritual status.’
Tamimi referred to the parade as an “attempt to bring about the collapse of all spiritual and moral values of the holy city’s young people and to expose them to the danger of this moral deviation.
“Israel’s decision to authorize the parade is part of the West’s battle against Islam,” he said.
Ali Waked and Roee Nahmias contributed to the report