While Israeli security forces are preparing for the potentially explosive second “day of rage” following the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the entrance to the Al-Aqsa Mosque was permitted for everyone.

Hamas procession, this morning

Hamas procession, this morning Photo credit: Channel 2 News

After yesterday’s first day of rage took place in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, Israeli security forces have prepared for an escalation at possible points of confrontation across the country, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

Even prior to the end of the prayers, disturbances were reported in Tekoa, Huwara, Beit Hanoun on the border of Gaza and Bil’in, near the security fence. The riots were handled by the security forces through means of crowd dispersal. Hundreds of protesters gathered at the Damascus Gate, although police forces are preventing them from disrupting the peace. 

At the end of the prayer, a procession of several hundred people carrying Palestinian, ISIS and Turkish flags gathered. The group left one of the gates of the Temple Mount but was quietly dispersed by the police near the Old City of Jerusalem. The police note that the tensions in East Jerusalem are still high and they are preparing for the possibility of disturbances in several villages and neighborhoods.

Photo credit: Sky News/ Channel 2 News

This morning (Friday), the entrance to the mosque was permitted for everyone, regardless of age. 32 thousand Muslim worshipers arrived for Friday’s prayers. During the night there were several stone-throwing incidents in which two people were injured. Furthermore, after two rockets were fired from Gaza last night, the IDF isn’t ruling out the possibility that Gaza may join the violence. Meanwhile, Hamas held a procession in Gaza.

Photo credit: Sky News/ Channel 2 News

The directive given to IDF soldiers ahead of Friday’s expected riots is to show as much restraint as possible until the situation becomes life-threatening. The Israeli security establishment is making every effort to prevent deaths, out of the understanding that such an outcome would ignite the area, even more. Meanwhile, IDF forces have strengthened in numbers and soldiers that were sent home for the weekend have been called back for duty.