Thousands of extra IDF troops put on call in West Bank amid Temple Mount tensions

RT – July 20, 2017

The Israeli army will put thousands of extra troops on alert in the West Bank ahead of Friday prayers at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, fearing that clashes over security measures implemented at the holy site will spread.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced on Thursday that it would be putting five extra battalions on call in the West Bank, adding that they could be deployed if backup is needed, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The army fears that clashes could erupt on Friday, as Muslims make their way to the Temple Mount for prayers. Jerusalem police will also be reinforced by thousands of special police forces, according to Haaretz.

It comes after the mufti of Jerusalem and the heads of the Waqf called on all imams in the city and surrounding areas not to hold Friday prayers in their mosque, but to come to the holy site – known as Ḥaram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) to Muslims – instead.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Islamic Jihad group, Hamas, and the Umm al-Fahm Popular Committee, a local community organization, echoed those calls on Thursday.

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