Israel deployed additional security forces to a holy site in Jerusalem on Thursday and put the troops on high alert amid growing tensions relating to checks on Muslim worshippers.
Security forces had locked down parts of Jerusalem’s Old City on Saturday and the ultra-sensitive holy site remained closed after an attack that killed two police officers and heightened Israeli-Palestinian tensions.
Three Arab Israeli assailants opened fire on Israeli police on Friday in the Old City before fleeing to the nearby Haram al-Sharif, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, where they were shot dead by police.
“The Israeli army will place five extra battalions on alert in the West Bank,’’ an army spokesperson said.
The move comes ahead of this week Friday prayers, which some fear could stoke the already tensed situation at the site, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and Jews as the Temple Mount.
Additional checks were introduced on Sunday, including metal detectors and turnstiles at the entrance to the site, in response to the killings of the two Israeli police officers in a terrorist attack.
Since then, Palestinian officials have called for violence and more than a dozen Palestinians and two police officers have been injured in clashes.
Police had on Thursday, released video footage, which they said shows that the culprits of terrorist attack were able to carry out the assault from Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary and then flee back into the complex.
Officials claim that an accomplice helped smuggle them into the area.
The attackers were shot dead at the site.
Every week, several thousand worshippers attend Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is located in the Noble Sanctuary grounds.