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Hightened security measures imposed in Jerusalem ahead of Jewish holiday

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Israeli police were heavily deployed across occupied East Jerusalem on Tuesday as reports of an alleged “security threat” were received, according to Israeli police spokesperson. Luba al-Samri said in a statement that the security alert was declared Tuesday afternoon, issuing no specific directions for the public.

The security alert was cancelled Tuesday evening, and road blocks installed by Israeli police were removed.
Meanwhile, Israeli police made preparations throughout East Jerusalem’s Old City on Tuesday ahead of the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah, to take place October 2-4.

Al-Samri said that Isreali police and border guards would be heavily deployed across Jerusalem for the holiday, particularly on roads used by Jewish worshipers and near the Western Wall of the Old City, next to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Israeli police will also close the road leading to the Old City from Jaffa Gate for private vehicles except for those of Old City residents on Oct. 2. Tensions around the the Old City and the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in particular contributed to the recent escalation of violence after right-wing Israelis made frequent visits to the site during a succession of Jewish holidays last fall.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque, cherished as the third holiest site in Islam, is located in East Jerusalem, a part of the internationally recognized Palestinian territory which has been occupied by the Israeli army for almost 50 years.

It is also venerated as Judaism’s most holy place, as it sits where Jews believe the First and Second Temples once stood. The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, and some Jewish extremists have called for the destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque so as to build a Third Temple in its place.

[Source: Ma’an News]
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