A Border Police officer overlooks Temple Mount and the Western Wall.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Over 3,000 police officers from a breadth of units across the country will be deployed throughout Jerusalem, with an emphasis on the Old City, to oversee security as tens of thousands of Muslims converge at al-Aksa Mosque for Ramadan’s third week of Friday prayers, police said Thursday.
According to police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, since the holiday commenced earlier this month, heightened security measures have been ongoing throughout the capital.
To date, he said no incidents of violence have taken place in the Old City or Temple Mount, where scores of Muslims have converged at al-Aksa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, to observe Friday prayers for the month the holiday takes place.
“Israeli police have carried out security assessments and units will be deployed in and around the Old City area from the early hours of the morning on Friday in order to allow the thousands of people to come into the Temple Mount areas for prayers,” he said. “At the same time, police officers will maintain a strong presence throughout the city to prevent any incidents from taking place.”
Undercover units, Border Police, Traffic Patrol personnel, and other officers will be on hand throughout the day to oversee the massive procession, he said.
Rosenfeld described the security measures as “standard procedure,” adding that units will also be deployed to all public areas in the city, including the central bus station, light rail, and bus stops, to ensure the holiday remains peaceful.
The final Friday prayer of Ramadan will be on July 1.