More Violence in Feared Ahead of Churvah Shul Dedication


old-city-of-yerushalayimA soldier was lightly injured on Friday and three Arab demonstrators were arrested while protesting the Israeli decision to limit access to pray on the Har Habayis. Disturbances in the eastern part of Yerushalyim continued yesterday. Dozens of young Arabs who were not allowed to enter the Har Habyis caused a disturbance around midday prayer time.The police brought the situation under control and agreed to allow the Arabs to pray near the site. In another incident, several dozen Palestinians tried to break through the Qalandiyah checkpoint. One person threw a Molotov cocktail, which caused no injuries. The Border Police pushed the crowd back and made four arrests.

The police are concerned that the dedication of the restored Churvah Shul in the Jewish Quarter today could heighten tensions in the Old City.

On Friday, the police limited access to the Har Habyis to men with blue Israeli ID cards 50 or older. Admission of women was not restricted. Hundreds of police and members of the Border Police were deployed in East Jerusalem.

On Friday at the Kosel, Israel Police Commissioner David Cohen assessed the situation with other senior police officials. He mentioned the importance of “maintaining [open] channels of communication with all the parties involved to preserve the peace and make it possible for everyone to worship as they wish.”

{Yair Israel/Haaretz contributed to this report}