Police to Beef Up Jerusalem Presence Following Unrest

White House says it is deeply concerned over clashes at Jerusalem's Temple Mount and 'strongly condemns all acts of violence at the sacred site.'

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Border Police accompany Jewish worshippers in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, Jerusalem, September 15, 2015.
Border Police accompany Jewish worshippers in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, Jerusalem, September 15, 2015.Credit: AFP

Hundreds of extra police officers will be deployed in Jerusalem following a spate of violent incidents over the past several days, acting Police Commissioner Bentzi Sau said on Tuesday.

At a special meeting convened at the capital, Sau called on police forces to stop "the law-breakers" and said Israel Police "will not spare any means or forces necessary" to quell the unrest.

Among those taking part in Tuesday's briefing were Jerusalem District Police chief Chico Edri, Operations Division Aharon Axol, head of the police's Investigations and Intelligence Division Meni Yitzhaki, as other top brass.

"We are determined to bring each and every one of them to justice," Commissioner Sau said, referring to those who took part in the recent confrontations. "There has been an escalation in recent days.. from the mosques and on the Temple Mount there were attempts [to attack] using explosives, fire bombs and stones at police forces and attempts to harm civilians."

On Tuesday morning, Palestinians and police clashed at Jerusalem's Temple Mount compound in the third day of consecutive violence at the flashpoint site. Arab youths reportedly attempted to use violence in attempt to block access to the complex.

The incident came as Israel marked the Jewish New Year and a day after an Israeli man died in an incident that could be the result of stone throwing.

The White House said on Tuesday it is deeply concerned about the clashes at Jerusalem's Temple Mount, and "strongly condemns all acts of violence at the sacred site."

Also on Tuesday, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden "expressed concern about recent violence and rising tensions regarding Jerusalem’s Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount." Biden told Jordanian King Abdullah that all parties must "exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions, and to uphold the historic status quo at the holy site."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Office announced on Monday evening that he would fast-track legislation to set a minimum sentence for stone and firebomb throwing after an Israeli died and several people were injured after attacks by rock-throwing Palestinians.

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