Hundreds More Israeli Police Deployed Ahead of Main Muslim Prayers

Israeli police disperse Palestinian protesters in Jerusalem's Old City
Israeli forces disperse Palestinian protesters outside the Damascus Gate entrance to Jerusalem's Old City on December 7, 2017 Photo: Ahmad Gharabli, AFP

Israel deployed hundreds of additional police officers on Friday following Palestinian calls for protests after the main weekly Muslim prayers against U.S. President Donald Trump‘s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“Several hundred additional police and border police have been deployed inside and in the vicinity of the Old City,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP.

The situation was calm early Friday in Jerusalem’s Old City, the location of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, the third-holiest site in Islam and where thousands typically attend the main weekly prayers.

Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, was calling for a “day of rage” on Friday and protests were expected over Trump’s move on Wednesday recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The disputed city lies at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with both sides seeing it as their capital.