Photo:  Dudi Vaaknin
Alert (Archives)
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin

Police declare high state of alert after Hebron riots

Violent disturbances following eviction of disputed house in West Bank city prompt police to order mass forces be deployed, Jerusalem

Police have declared a heightened state of alert across Israel on Friday in the wake of the violent events which followed Thursday's eviction of the disputed house in the West Bank city of Hebron.


Fearing right-wing activists will continue to block roads, as well as Palestinian riots, large police forces will deploy in Hebron and Jerusalem, especially in the vicinity of the Temple Mount.


Right-wing activists have called on their supporters to embark on a week-long retaliatory spree in wake of the eviction. "We will choose the time and place to retaliate," they told Ynet. The activists also urged people to continue arriving at the house.


Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen held a conference call with his top brass on Thursday night and instructed them to deploy mass forces in various "hotspots" and intersections across the country, in preparation for possible riots.


The police also decided to restrict prayer on the Temple Mount, limiting worshipers' entrance to the compound to men 45-years-old and over, who carry Israeli IDs. No restrictions have been placed on women worshipers.


The department said that they would not be lenient on anyone trying to disturb the peace.


Hebron gearing for tense night

Frictions in Hebron seemed to temper in the early hours of the night, after security forces finished sealing off the disputed house. Border Guard officers have been stationed on the premises in order to ensure right-wing activists will not break into the house.


Commander Avshalom Peled, of the Hebron Subdistrict Police, told Ynet that police, Border Guard and Central Control Unit (CCU) forces would be deployed in the area, and that IDF and Border Guard troops would be deployed around the city's mosques.


"We will counteract any riots which may be prompted by Jews against Palestinians in Hebron," he said. Peled included the Cave of Patriarchs and the Hazon David and Federman Farm outposts as such areas. A Palestinian house adjacent to the latter was stormed by Jews earlier in the night.


Summing up the day's events, extreme right-wing activist Itamar Ben-Gvir told Ynet that "we knew that going up against the Border Guard, CCU and SWAT teams and all of the other security forces' elite units won't be easy, but we wanted to get our message through – evicting Jews from their homes will bring about chaos." 


פרסום ראשון: 12.05.08, 01:21
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