Among the steps Israel plans to take to curb Arab violence on the Temple Mount is increasing its use of administrative detention against rioters.
According to a report on Channel Two Monday, security officials have determined that the main body of rioters consists of 30 to 50 “professionals” who spend many hours on the Temple Mount, organizing riots and unrest, and inciting children and teenagers to throw stones and firebombs at police.
Until now, officials have relied mostly on restraining orders to distance rioters from the site. However, although they cannot enter the Temple Mount compound, they can infiltrate the area and exacerbate tensions among Arabs, setting off more riots. If they are locked up, officials hope that the rioters will no longer be able to incite riots.
Earlier Monday, dozens of terrorists barricaded themselves on the Mount to attack police, ahead of expected riots in honor of the Sukkot holiday.
Rioting began several weeks ago on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, with terrorists attacking Jewish visitors and police officers to the Temple Mount. The attacks continued throughout the holiday, and expanded to other parts of the city.
The rioting led to the death of Alexander Levlovitz (64), who was killed on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, in an attack by Arab terrorists, after a rock slamming through his car's window made him lose control of the vehicle and crash.
The decision on using administrative detention – which will allow authorities to lock up rioters while they build a case against them – is among numerous steps the government has taken to protect Israelis.
Among the steps is a decision last week to allow security forces to use live ammunition against rioters if it is warranted. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that security forces would respond much more harshly to rock attacks than they have in the past.
“Rocks and firebombs are deadly weapons,” the Prime Minister said. “They kill and have killed, and so in recent days we have changed the rules for police officers opening fire in Jerusalem. Over the weekend they already used new means under the new regulations, and hit rock and firebomb terrorists. Today, we will allow a further expansion of the police officers’ abilities to thwart rock and firebomb terror, and we will continue to attack rioters... Whoever attacks us, we will attack you."
“We cannot accept the principle that in Jerusalem our capital, or in any other part of the State of Israel, in the Galilee or in the Negev, people will organize nationalistic terror and will start throwing bombs at trucks on the road, or rocks that kill people,” he added. “We will determine minimum punishment for rock and firebomb terrorists.”
On Monday,police for the first time put up barriers toward the entrance to the Temple Mount to help combat the constant rain of rocks and firecrackers being lobbed at security forces at Judaism's holiest site.
The mobile barricade was built based on measurements of the [Al- Aqsa] mosque entrance, a contraption of metal doors held up by wood posts. The barrier held for a short time, and video footage surfaced on Israeli television Monday night of rocks and fireworks ricocheting off the barrier as ominous 'booms' sound in the background.