Israel braces for a tempestuous Ramadan as tensions run high

YnetNews.com reports: “The Supreme Islamic Council of the Al-Aqsa Mosque determined Tuesday that Ramadan will begin this Thursday, and in the meantime, Israel is on high alert at this time of heightened religious fervor that could exacerbate already high tensions with the Palestinians.

In the past few months, Israeli security forces have carried out preventive arrests of some 500 Palestinian suspects who were deemed likely to carry out or incite acts of terrorism during the month-long Muslim holiday.

About 20 battalions are currently deployed throughout the West Bank and trained to address various scenarios of escalation, eight of them are stationed along the West Bank border barrier to prevent Palestinian terrorists from entering Israel.

The IDF will also bolster its presence at several points throughout the territory that are expected to see large footfall over the holiday, which overlaps with Passover and Easter this year.

Security forces’ presence will be especially felt on Fridays and holidays eves when many residents are traveling to holiday gatherings with family. In addition, soldiers will also be given stun guns under a new pilot program to curb unrest throughout the West Bank…”

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