Israel Police brace for possible Temple Mount unrest amid Egypt turmoil
Police limit entry to Temple mount to men over age of 50 and women due to fear that there will be copycat riots, like the ones currently occurring in Egypt.
Jerusalem police said on Friday that they were increasing the state of preparedness surrounding the Temple Mount in the Old City due to a fear of riots that they suspect may occur as a result of the uprising in Egypt.
Police said that entrance to the Temple Mount will be open on Friday only to men 50 years of age and older who have a blue identity card, signifying that they are Israeli citizens, and to women of all ages.
In Egypt on Friday, riots and protests calling for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to resign are expected to continue unabated into their 10th day. Although Egyptian protesters are demanding that Mubarak leave the government immediately, he has continued to insist that he will stay until elections are held in September. Protesters apparently plan to march to Mubarak's presidential palace on Friday.
Journalists were recently caught in the crossfire as the protests turned into clashes between anti-government protesters and Mubarak supporters. On Wednesday and Thursday, Thousands of Mubarak supporters violently attacked anti-government protesters and foreign journalist in Cairo's Tahrir Square.
In a second day of rock-throwing battles at Tahrir Square between protesters and regime supporters on Thursday, new looting and arson erupted, and gangs of thugs supporting Mubarak attacked reporters, foreigners and rights workers while the army rounded up foreign journalists.
The government increasingly spread an image that foreigners were fueling the turmoil and supporting the tens of thousands in the street who for more than 10 days have demanded the immediate ouster of Mubarak, this country’s unquestioned ruler for nearly three decades.