Israel ups security ahead of Friday prayers at flashpoint holy site

Tel Aviv (dpa) - Israel deployed additional security forces to a holy site in Jerusalem on Thursday and put the troops on high alert amid growing tensions relating to checks on Muslim worshippers.

The Israeli army will place five extra battalions on alert in the West Bank, an army spokeswoman said.
The move comes ahead of Friday prayers, which some fear could stoke the already tense situation at the site, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and Jews as the Temple Mount.
Additional checks were introduced Sunday, including metal detectors and turnstiles at the entrance to the site, in response to the killings of two Israeli police officers in a terrorist attack last week.
Since then, Palestinian officials have called for violence and more than a dozen Palestinians and two police officers have been injured in clashes.
Police released video footage Thursday, which they say shows that the culprits of last week's attack were able to carry out the assault from Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary and then flee back into the complex. Officials claim that an accomplice helped smuggle them into the area.
The attackers were shot dead at the site.
Every week, several thousand worshippers attend Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is located in the Noble Sanctuary grounds.


Thursday, July 20th 2017

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