update deskIsrael at War

Twelve major attacks foiled in Jerusalem since start of 2024, police say

In the two weeks preceding Ramadan, police officers arrested 21 residents of eastern Jerusalem on suspicion of incitement.

Israel Border Police officers patrol in Jerusalem's Old City during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, March 11, 2024. Photo by Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90.
Israel Border Police officers patrol in Jerusalem's Old City during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, March 11, 2024. Photo by Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90.

Since the beginning of 2024, Israeli security forces have already foiled 12 major Palestinian terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, the Israel Police announced on Tuesday.

The total number of large-scale attacks foiled in the capital city since Hamas launched its war against Israel some five months ago stands at 38, the police noted.

Jerusalem District Police Commander Supt. Doron Turgeman told reporters during a briefing on Tuesday that Israel is this year facing a “particularly complex Ramadan” and vowed “zero tolerance” for Hamas’s ongoing efforts to expand the Gaza conflict to Jerusalem.

Ramadan, which kicked off over the weekend, has historically been a high-alert period for Israelis, with Palestinian terror groups using the Muslim holy month as an opportunity to incite violence.

Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’s Doha-based “political” leader, late last month urged the Iran-led “Axis of Resistance” to step up attacks on Israel during the holiday, while calling on Palestinians in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City.

The “Axis of Resistance” includes Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Houthis and other Iran-backed terror groups in the region.

In the two weeks preceding Ramadan, police officers arrested 21 residents of eastern Jerusalem on suspicion of incitement, Turgeman revealed on Tuesday. So far, six of them have been charged.

Earlier this week, security forces found six explosive devices during the arrest of a suspect in Jerusalem’s Arab-majority neighborhood of Beit Hanina. An investigation was launched to determine whether the suspect had terrorist or criminal motives.

“The Jerusalem District Police will continue to enable Ramadan prayers as usual, but continues to operate at all times to thwart and deal decisively and swiftly with incitement, violent disturbances and terrorism of all kinds,” according to a statement.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided last week after meeting with security officials that Muslim worshippers can enter the Temple Mount “similar to the numbers in previous years” during Ramadan.

In the past, Jerusalem has permitted Palestinians and Israeli Arabs to visit the Temple Mount during Ramadan, and security brass supports maintaining that policy amid the war with Hamas in Gaza.

Security personnel have been deployed to the Old City in large numbers in preparation for possible violence. Hundreds of police officers will be positioned in key points during the holy month, which ends on April 8.

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