250,000 Palestinians arrived at al-Aqsa Mosque for the second Friday prayers of Ramadan, according to Waqf in Jerusalem. The prayers were conducted without any unrest reported.
Over 70,000 Palestinians crossed through various checkpoints to get to al-Aqsa on Friday. Some Palestinians were also photographed by Palestinian media illegally climbing over the security wall around parts of the West Bank.
After the prayers, a group of Palestinian young men gathered near the Dome of the Rock and raised flags supporting terrorist groups and chanted "a nation led by Muhammad will not kneel."
Last week, flags and banners in support of terrorist groups were raised near the Dome of the Rock by young Palestinians and subsequently taken down by Israeli police. Several suspects involved in the act were arrested.
Before the prayers on Friday, Israel Police chief Kobi Shabtai and Jerusalem District commander Doron Turgeman held a situation assessment near the Western Wall.
"We are in the second week of the month of Ramadan, which began relatively quietly given the professional treatment of the Jerusalem district and all of our partners, in particular the Border Police, the Shin Bet and the IDF," said Shabtai.
"It is important to maintain the readiness and operational vigilance of the police officers, in particular at the points of friction. The treatment of exceptional incidents must continue to be specific, professional and focused," added the police chief. "The issue of awareness must also be well handled in relation to incidents of incitement and in relation to false publications and rumors. We need to continue the smart operational preparation, and preserve the existing situation on the ground as much as possible."
"It is important to maintain the readiness and operational vigilance of the police officers, in particular at the points of friction. The treatment of exceptional incidents must continue to be specific, professional and focused."Kobi Shabtai
Turgeman thanked the police officers for their work, saying "Since the beginning of Ramadan, we have mainly seen the atmosphere of the holiday, including the cooperation of the public, and accordingly more people come to the Old City and the Temple Mount compared to previous years."
"We are working to enable freedom of movement and worship in a number of circles of preparation, from the crossings encircling Jerusalem to the Old City and the Temple Mount," added Turgeman. "At the same time, there is quite a bit of handling that is being carried out for those who cause incitement on social networks, and the significant operational preparation that includes a combined effort to thwart terrorist attacks, will continue the whole time with all the axes and tools we have."
Israeli police activity at holy sites
The police noted that there has been a spike in incitement efforts on social media in recent days, including false publications about threats that do not actually exist to holy sites.
2,300 Border Police officers operated in the Jerusalem area and the West Bank on Friday in preparation for the Friday prayers.
Border Police commander Amir Cohen visited officers operating at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron on Friday and held a situation assessment with the senior command staff of the Border Police.
"Here too, as in all the holy sites throughout the country, the purpose of the officers of the Border Guard, is to enable the observance of religious worship and to give security to all residents," said Cohen. "The great test of our forces is during a real event, I expect the fighters to respond to any unusual incident with determination, professionalism and to a degree appropriate for the situation."