On Wednesday, President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He made the decision in the face of warning that it might cause Palestinian violence.
The Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli security personnel is preparing for rioting on Friday in Jerusalem and the West Bank. This comes "amid predictions that Palestinians and Israeli Arabs will escalate their protests against US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital," said the news agency.
Hamas political bureau chief, Ismail Haniyeh, gave a televised speech in which he called for rioting.
“Tomorrow, December 8, 2017, should be a day of rage and the beginning of a major effort to rise up, which I will name the ‘Intifada of Jerusalem and the West Bank’s Freedom," said Haniyeh.
“[Just] as we liberated Gaza, we [will be] able... to free Jerusalem and the West Bank by the way of this popular struggle,” he continued.
There has already been some violence in the area. Terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired three rockets at Israel.
"Two rockets fell inside the Strip, while a third struck an open area near Kibbutz Be’eri in the Eshkol region," said the JPost.
The Israel Air Force responded with a retaliatory strike on Thursday night. They hit what the Air Force said were two terrorist targets in Gaza.
"Across the West Bank, thousands of Palestinians, mostly young men and teens, took to the streets burning tires and throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at IDF troops in Hebron, Bethlehem and Ramallah," explained the Post. "Twenty of the rioters were arrested by the army."
The IDF used riot dispersal measures to subdue the rioters. They acknowledged that some Palestinians were wounded. However, an IDF spokesman denied that the military used live fire to disperse the protests.
In the Gaza Strip, dozens of riots broke out. They included riots along the border with Israel; there hundreds of Palestinians threw stones and Molotov cocktails at IDF soldiers.
The army revealed that it's reinforcing its Judea and Samaria Division with extra battalions and intelligence units.
“In addition, more standby forces were defined, as part of the [military’s] readiness for possible developments,” the IDF added.
They added, “As of now, we have not raised the alert level, nor do we intend to restrict entrance to the Old City according to the age of the [Muslim] prayer-goers,” he said.
Rioting also took place in the capital. There were hundreds of protestors in east Jerusalem at the Damascus Gate plaza.
The crowd chanted: “Jerusalem is Arab and Palestinian,” and, “Trump, you will see – Palestine will be free.”
The Jerusalem Post added that protestors told them that the demonstrations on Thursday were “only a promo ahead of Friday."
“The police will mainly focus on the noon prayer time at the points of friction – including the Old City alleys and the surrounding areas. It will also focus on the area of the Kalandiya checkpoint, where it is working with full cooperation with the IDF and Border Police, and we are prepared for an immediate operational response to a wide range of scenarios if necessary,” said the police spokesman.