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Ramadan is approaching: Significant increase in alerts for terrorist attacks across Israel

Security officials warn of significant increase in alerts for attacks in West Bank, Jerusalem and city centers across the nation, as well as attempts to escalate the discourse of terrorism.

Israeli border police officers guard at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, February 19, 2024. (Photo by Jamal Awad/Flash90)

Israeli security officials are warning of a significant increase in alerts for attacks in Judea and Samaria (internationally known as the West Bank), and Jerusalem ahead of the month of Ramadan, as announced on Saturday evening on KAN 11 news.

In addition, there are concerns about attacks taking place within city centers across Israel.

The security agency recognizes the potential for Hamas and Iranian operatives located outside the Gaza Strip to escalate tensions in Judea and Samaria, as well as their efforts to associate current events in Gaza with the Temple Mount issue, adding a religious element to the situation.

In the coming days, the War Cabinet will need to make a decision regarding Muslims coming to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount during Ramadan, which is one of the main focal points for security forces.

In Israel, efforts will be made to emphasize the message that the war is being waged against the Hamas terrorist organization, not against Muslims.

Israel's security establishment advised the political leadership against imposing any limitations on Arab-Israelis, instead proposing an age restriction for Palestinians from the West Bank.

However, National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir is demanding that Muslims not be allowed to enter the Temple Mount at all. The Security Cabinet is expected to discuss the issue again this week. Security officials are expected to present additional situation assessments to remove some of the planned restrictions.

Last week, it was reported by KAN that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with police and proposed a compromise regarding limiting the entry of Arab-Israeli to the Temple Mount during the month of Ramadan. According to two sources who were present at the meeting, the police proposed that men up to the age of 40 would be prohibited from entering the Temple Mount, while the age restriction of children and women would be determined later.

The decision will be enforced during the first week of Ramadan and, at the end of that week, it will be decided whether to continue or ease the restrictions. Sources at the meeting said Netanyahu expressed support for the proposal and requested that military staff officers continue to work on the proposal. During the discussion, security officials stated that the majority of "problematic elements" among Arab Israelis and East Jerusalem residents are typically those who are under the age of 40, including individuals affiliated with illegal groups, and those without affiliation but already known by Shin Bet (Israel's security agency) and the police.

Itay is a military correspondent for KAN 11.

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