Thousands of police and border patrol officers were deployed on Friday morning around the Temple Mount, the Old City and East Jerusalem as Muslim worshippers gathered for the final Friday of prayer for the month of Ramadan. An estimated 100,000 worshippers attended prayers at the Temple Mount, according to Israel Radio.
A police spokesperson was quoted as saying that the police were very pleased that the month has passed with relatively few incidents “other than a few instances of provocation that did not amount to anything serious.”
The police expressed relief over the calm of this year’s Ramadan considering the decision by the police and the IDF’s Civil Administration to lift some of the restrictions on worshippers this year. As a result, approximately one million worshippers, or 200,000 per week, entered the Temple Mount for Ramadan prayers this year.
One police source was quoted by Army Radio as saying that the number of worshippers permitted this year was more than double those admitted a year ago. The eased restrictions included lowering the age of those allowed entrance, and allowing more family visits.
Next week, Muslims around the world will begin the feast of Eid ul-Fitr to mark the end of Ramadan.