Israel’s authorities have temporarily restricted travel and entry to a number of major cities to prevent demonstrations over a controversial decision to allow tens of thousands of Palestinians to take part in a major annual protest in the capital, Jerusalem.
The Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday ordered the closure of all Jerusalem’s streets and other major intersections, which are used by tens of millions of Palestinians, for an indefinite period of time.
The decision was taken following an injunction from the Jerusalem High Court.
A petition filed by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem argued that the city’s decision to exclude Palestinians from demonstrations violates the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel.
“The decision violates the human rights of the entire Palestinian people, especially those who have been denied their right to participate in a peaceful protest,” the petition said.
The decision, which is subject to a two-week appeal, follows a Supreme Court decision last month to extend a Jerusalem ruling that limited Palestinian protests to two days.
The Supreme Court’s ruling on Wednesday, which upheld a decision by the Jerusalem Municipality to extend the protests, also allowed the protest to continue until Monday.
The city’s police chief said he was “saddened” by the ruling.
“This decision has nothing to do with the police,” Chief Yohanan Danino said.
“It has nothing at all to do and I will not even say anything.”
In a statement, the Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office said the decision was made on Monday and was “consistent with the principle of equality.”
The office said it would file an appeal with the Supreme Court.
The protest, which took place on Tuesday, drew hundreds of thousands and has become a major political issue in the Jewish state.
Palestinians are demanding the release of a Palestinian security detainee who was detained by Israeli security forces after his arrest on a knife-wielding knife charge in October.
Demonstrators marched on Jerusalem’s central al-Aqsa Mosque compound and were later dispersed by security forces.
The Israeli military said in a statement that it used “heavy weapons and live ammunition” to disperse the protesters.
It said the security forces used tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets to disperse demonstrators.
The demonstrations have also taken place in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the areas under full Israeli military control.
Israeli authorities have also imposed a series of travel restrictions in response to the protests.
The new restrictions were announced late Monday, and they are expected to remain in effect until Sunday.
On Tuesday, the Israeli military also began enforcing a travel ban on people who are members of Hamas and other militant groups.
The Hamas-run media said on Twitter that it had been informed that the ban was being imposed.
The move comes amid a deepening rift between the United States and Israel.
The two countries have clashed over Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, and a U.S. State Department report last month found that Israel has used excessive force against Palestinians.
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump said he had directed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to reconsider the ban, which was announced in response the release last month of Gilad Shalit, a convicted soldier and militant, who was held by Israel.
Shalit’s release has been seen as a key part of Trump’s strategy to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.