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Israelis, Palestinians brace for UN bid violence

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas may be making final preparations for their battle of words at the UN General Assembly in New York, but on Friday afternoon the focus was on Jerusalem where security forces hope Friday prayers on the Temple Mount will end peacefully and without any clashes.
With that in mind, Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino and Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch arrived at the Western Wall on Friday to be on hand to monitor the developing situation.
There are concerns that Palestinian factors will try to riot in problematic areas in the West Bank and east Jerusalem in response to their disappointment over what they believe was US President Barack Obama’s pro-Israeli speech. Talking to Ynet, police sources said they believed there was a likelihood of clashes with security forces at the Kalandia checkpoint following Friday morning prayers.
Thousands of policemen, Border Guard officers and police special forces will deploy around the Temple Mount and the Jerusalem region in order to maintain order when Friday prayers on the Temple Mount are over. The IDF said that there are two critical timeframes for friction: After Friday prayers and Abbas’ speech in the UN.
Jerusalem police have decided to restrict the age of Temple Mount worshipers to men over the age of 50 and only those who carry Israeli ID cards. No restrictions will be placed on women wishing to enter the mount.
A source within the Jerusalem police said that "a firm hand approach will be used against any attempt to break the peace." Though he added there was no concrete evidence of any planned clashes "but if order is broken we will know how to act".
The Fatah is planning to give Abbas a significant morale boost and has established an operations room to oversea the 194 (the number the Palestinian state would receive in the UN if recognized) events and rallies in the West Bank.
The main rallies will commence at 6 pm in Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron and Jenin where Abbas’ speech will be broadcast live on big screens. Thousands are expected to arrive in east Jerusalem to watch the Palestinian president’s speech at the Damascus Gate.
Palestinian security forces will also be on high alert on Friday and will deploy additional forces in order to prevent clashes between Palestinians and settlers.
 
Prepared for foreign media and Facebook
While Wednesday’s rallies passed with relative calm, this time around there are greater fears of violent responses from the Palestinians as Obama’s UN speech has created a great deal of disappointment and frustration on the Palestinian street.
In addition to the special "independence events" the Palestinians also plan on holding the usual Friday protests against the separation fence, yet this time organizers promise it will be bigger and in the spirit of the September events.
Meanwhile, the IDF has not only boosted the number of troops in the West Bank, it is also on high alert in the PR arena. Documentation teams will be deployed throughout the West Bank with cellular devices that are equipped with "live view" technology for the foreign media and social networks. A special operations room has been established for that purpose at the IDF’s filming unit.
In the Gaza Strip it would seem that it is business as usual – no special event have been planned ahead of the UN statehood bid as Hamas opposes the move.

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