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High security in Jerusalem as more than 100,000 Muslims gather for Ramadan prayers on Temple Mount

Israeli forces shot and killed an Israeli Bedouin Arab who reportedly tried to steal a weapon from an Israeli security officer

Thousands of Muslim worshipers attend the second Friday prayers of the holy month of Ramadan at the Al Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem's Old City, March 31, 2023. (Photo: Jamal Awad/Flash90)

More than 100,000 Muslims, including 52,000 visitors from the West Bank, gathered for Friday’s Ramadan prayers atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. 

Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai, after attending a security assessment at the Western Wall at the foot of the Temple Mount, described the current situation as “relatively quiet” and credited the professionalism of the Jewish state’s security forces. 

Israel reportedly deployed about 2,300 Border Police officers in and around Jerusalem, the nation’s capital.

“It is necessary to continue smart operational readiness, and preserve the existing situation in the field as much as possible,” Shabtai said

Israeli security forces are on high alert amid rising tensions, concerned that the area surrounding al-Aqsa Mosque will flare into violence as in the past. Ramadan is a period in which Muslim extremists have typically resorted to violence and terrorism. 

The Israel Police issued a warning against “any attempt to use the month of Ramadan or the holy places to disrupt order, incite or support terrorism.”

On Friday evening, Israeli forces shot and killed Mohammed Alasibi, an Israeli Bedouin Arab, who reportedly tried to steal a weapon from an Israeli security officer. Alasibi’s family denies the police report, claiming he was “killed in cold blood.” 

NPR reported that a 17-year-old eyewitness “saw Alasibi confront police who had stopped a female worshipper on her way to al-Aqsa mosque. … He said some kind of disagreement broke out between Alasibi and the officers before he heard a dozen shots ring out.”

Last week, Israeli security forces removed a number of radical Muslims from the Temple Mount after they reportedly barricaded themselves inside the al-Aqsa mosque while preparing to riot against Jews visiting the Temple Mount. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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