The Dome of the Rock is seen in the background as Palestinians pray on the first Friday of Ramadan in 2018.
(photo credit: AMMAR AWAD/REUTERS)
Police took security measures and precautions, remaining on high alert over Friday in and around the Old City of Jerusalem as visitors arrived and prayers commenced on Temple Mount for the first Friday of Ramadan.
"Police units and Border Police have been mobilized in different parts of the Old City to allow thousands of people to make the area accessible, whilst preventing any incidents," the Israel Police said in a media statement. "Buses will transport thousands of people from the checkpoints around Jerusalem to the Old city. Roads in and around the Old City were closed to allow thousands of people to enter the area on foot."
It added that police measures would be continuing into the late afternoon.
In the past Ramadan has been marred with violent riots on the Temple Mount and in the West Bank and Gaza.
In 2018, thousands of Palestinians rioted on the Gaza border as part of the March of Return protests, which intensified on the first Friday of Ramadan that year.
Several hundred Palestinians also rioted at checkpoints in the West Bank that same Friday in response to Israel’s force on the Gaza border. However, the situations remained calm on the Temple Mount.
In 2017, several terrorist attacks took place in the Old City during the last part of Ramadan in which a policewoman was stabbed to death, and four other police officers injured in a shooting attack.
In 2016, days of violent protests broke out on the Temple Mount in Israel’s Old City of Jerusalem over the fact that Jewish and non-Muslim visitors had come to the holy site.
During the Ramadan riots on Temple Mount major clashes broke out with over 30 people being arrested for throwing rocks and firecrackers at police and Border Police officers.
The site was later temporarily closed to non-Muslim visitors at the time.
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