Security forces were gearing up Friday morning for anticipated violence ahead of Friday prayers at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount as police announced 60 people were arrested overnight on suspicion of planning violence.
The Kan public broadcaster reported the arrested individuals were all residents of East Jerusalem.
A spokesman for the police said the crackdown came after “calls for public disturbances” at Friday prayers.
Police said in a statement they expect to make further arrests in the coming hours, and that they would act to ensure prayers could take place as planned.
Palestinian worshipers clashed with Israeli police at the site on Tuesday, trying to force their way into an area of the holy compound that has been closed for years. Police said 19 Palestinians were arrested.
The incident followed a similar confrontation on Monday in which Palestinians tried to break the gate that Israel placed on the closed area last week after the Muslim Waqf religious council broke into the area and held prayers there.
Three surveys show Blue and White surging ahead in April 9 election, with 35-36 seats to Likud’s 26-32.
New polls released Thursday evening showed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party trailing well behind the new joint Blue and White list of Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, with 47 days until the April 9 Knesset elections.