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Israel To Deploy Thousands Of Police In Jerusalem For Friday Prayers

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office announced last week that Muslim worshipers would be allowed entry to Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Jerusalem:

Israeli police have announced they will deploy thousands of officers across Jerusalem’s Old City for the first Friday prayers of Ramadan at Al-Aqsa Mosque, a time of heightened tensions due to the Gaza conflict.

“We are preparing for Friday prayers with more police officers. Thousands of people… will be concentrated in the Temple Mount area.”

He said hundreds of police had already been deployed to the Old City of Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem since Ramadan began on Monday.

Mayor Ben said up to 25,000 believers had already visited the mosque for prayers during the Muslim fasting month without any problems.

“We will make every effort to spend this Ramadan quietly,” she told a news conference.

Asked about Sunday’s alleged clashes between police and worshipers, government spokesman Tal Heinrich said: “We are on high alert.”

“It is no secret that extremists and terrorist organizations such as Hamas and (Palestinian) Islamic Jihad are trying to incite this region,” he told a news conference.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced last week that the same number of Muslim worshipers as usual will be allowed into Al-Aqsa Mosque during the first week of Ramadan.

“Every week, the situation will be assessed from a security and safety perspective and decisions will be made accordingly.”

Police said in a statement that Palestinians coming to al-Aqsa from the occupied West Bank are expected to face some restrictions.

Government spokesman Ofir Gendelman said only men over 55 and women over 50 from the territory would be allowed to enter the mosque premises “for security reasons”.

Israel’s far-right Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir recently told Palestinian residents of the West Bank that they “should not be allowed” to enter Jerusalem for prayers during Ramadan and announced stricter restrictions. I was looking for restrictions.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is Islam’s third holiest site, and although its management is strictly under Jordanian authority, Israel has imposed restrictions in and around the complex.

Clashes between Muslim worshipers and Israeli security forces frequently occur on the ground.

Ramadan begins this year, and Israel is waging a devastating war with the Palestinian Hamas group in the Gaza Strip.

The war erupted after an Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas that resulted in the deaths of about 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli statistics.

Since then, Israeli retaliatory military attacks have killed at least 31,184 people in the Gaza Strip, most of them women and children, according to the Gaza Strip Health Ministry.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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