(JTA) – Muslim rioters threw rocks at police officers near Jerusalem’s Lions’ Gate, breaking the relative calm of a day that followed 10 days of unrest over security at the Temple Mount.
Police fired stun grenades into the hostile crowds, Ynet reported Friday, as Israel deployed a huge security force to keep the peace and thousands of Muslim worshippers gathered for Friday prayers.
Israeli authorities restricted entrance to the Old City and Temple Mount to men over 50 years old and women only.
Israel this week removed various security measures – including metal detectors and surveillance cameras – that had been installed following the July 14 slaying of two police officers by three Palestinian citizens of Israel. The Palestinian Authority encouraged followers to protest the security measures.
On Thursday, a Trump administration official praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for removing the security devices, saying he “acted with a clear sense of responsibility not just for Israel’s security, but also for regional stability,” The Jerusalem Post reported.
Meanwhile, Naftali Bennett, a cabinet minister and member of the right-wing Jewish Home party, described the decision as “surrender” by Israel to Palestinian rioters.