Defense Minister Benny Gantz decided this weekend to end the holiday closure imposed on crossings between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, further enabling a flood of PA citizens to enter Israel for prayers at the Al Aqsa Mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Gantz made the decision following a situation assessment this evening held with IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi and senior defense officials via telephone.
“Israel will continue to act in a targeted manner against terrorism and arrest anyone who seeks to disrupt the public order,” he said in a statement following the meeting.
In accordance with the decision, the Gilboa and Reihan crossings to and from the terrorist hotbed of Jenin were opened, allowing entry of Israeli Arabs into the city. The crossings were closed last week following a deadly terror carried out in Bnei Brak by a Jenin resident.
Thousands of terrorists rioted and shouted incitement in dozens of other hotspots over this weekend as well, including in Huwara, el-Aroub, Jenin, Hebron, al-Hadar, Qalqiliya and other areas.
The terrorists threw stones and other objects as well as Molotov cocktails and grenades at Israeli security forces.
Terrorists who arrived near the Gilboa crossing threw several explosives at the forces and fled the scene. Israeli forces fired and hit a number of terrorists in the various hotspots. There were no casualties among Israeli personnel.
Some 470 suspects were arrested Friday at the Temple Mount, most of them at the Al Aqsa Mosque, during riots at the site instigated by masked Arabs. The rioters hurled rocks at Jews in the Western Wall plaza, uprooted signs and shouted incitement.
The figure includes 65 minors, including children under the age of 14 who were questioned and released after promising not to enter the Old City of Jerusalem for the next 15 days, Israel’s Channel N12 reported.
Hundreds of rioters also chanted nationalist slogans and other incitement in the Israeli Arab city of Umm al-Fahm. They hurled rocks and lit fireworks at Israeli police officers, in addition to setting tires ablaze. Seven arrests were made.