West Bank Security Curfew Extended Until Tuesday

Restrictions on Palestinian travel to East Jerusalem to continue amid fears of more violence.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Saturday evening signed an order to extend a security lockdown in the West Bank to prevent Palestinians entering Jerusalem after a weekend of protests and rioting in the city.

Barak's decision to continue the closure until midnight on Tuesday followed intelligence indicating the likelihood of disturbances, officials said.

There were fears that plans to inaugurate a new synagogue in Jerusalem's Old City on Sunday could lead to more violence.

Security forces were also preparing for further protests across the West Bank in response to an Israeli decision announced last week to build 1,600 new Jewish homes in East Jerusalem - a move which drew widespread condemnation, including from Israel's staunch ally, the United States.

Earlier on Saturday police used tear gas and stun grenades in clashes with dozens of Palestinians at a checkpoint between the West Bank and Jerusalem, while four Palestinians were arrested amid mounting tensions in the holy city.

Two minors were also arrested after attacks on police later in the day.

On Friday police arrested four Palestinians during at times violent skirmishes around the Al-Aqsa mosque, while in East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrakh neighborhood police arrested eight leftwing activists demonstrating against Jewish construction there.

Police are expected to deploy in numbers across the Old City and Jerusalem's Arab neighborhoods on Sunday and access to the Al-Aqsa mosque will be barred to men under the age of 50.