Palestinian rioters on Wednesday
Photo: Reuters
IDF equipped with crowd-control means
Photo: Noam Moshkovitz

Gantz says IDF ready for Palestinian riots

Army, police forces bolster security in West Bank, Jerusalem in anticipation of riots related to Palestinian UN bid; Lieut.-Gen. Gantz: IDF prepared for any scenario

IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz announced Thursday that the security forces are prepared to deal with any situation that might arise due to the Palestinian drive for statehood.


"I am certain that we will handle any scenario wisely," he said.


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Gantz, who spoke during a memorial service for fallen soldiers in Latrun, addressed recent riots in the West Bank, triggered by the ongoing UN General Assembly and the Palestinians' intention to submit its request to be recognized by the international body's Security Council.


IDF troops arrest rioter at Qalandiya

IDF arrest rioters at West Bank (Photo: Noam Moshkovitz)


"So far the Palestinian Authority has been making efforts to contain the incidents, and I hope that it will continue to do so in the coming days," Gantz said, but added that "The IDF is ready to protect the citizens of Israel at all times and from any enemy, now more than ever."


The military and police forces are readying for the possibility that the riots will escalate on Friday, especially in light of the disappointment voiced by Palestinian officials over US President Barack Obama's UN address.


Police limits worshippers' age

Jerusalem District Police decided Thursday evening to limit the age of male worshippers allowed to pray at Temple Mount on Friday to 50 and older. Only men with Israeli identification cards will be allowed at the site. No limitations were placed on the attendance of women.


Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino and Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch are expected to visit Temple Mount on Friday.


The police are set to bolster security in Jerusalem and its vicinity, as well as West Bank checkpoints. Thousands of officers, including mounted police, border police and undercover agents are to be deployed to the sites to maintain public order following the afternoon prayers. The forces are armed with crowd-control means, including sonic cannons and stink bombs.


The police say that the violence that broke out in the West Bank Wednesday weren't widespread, and were expected to remain as such on Friday. However, a defense establishment source told Ynet that a high alert level has been set despite lack of intelligence about planned mass riots.


A woman and a baby, both Israeli, were injured in Wednesday's clashes.


Yair Altman contributed to the report




פרסום ראשון: 09.23.11, 00:13
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