Damascus Gate: The fourth Ramadan Friday

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Ruthi Barkai, Avital Toch, Yona Eyal, Anat Tueg (photos and report). Translation: Danah Ezekiel


11:30 – 14:00

In the alleys of the Muslim Quarter and onward towards the Al Aqsa complex, this Friday was busier than the previous Fridays. The holders of the "blue cards" - the permanent residents of Jerusalem and Israeli Arabs, who were ignored by the bureaucratic suppression orders - walked there in tense silence and in a hurry.



The paid shuttle buses from the South Jerusalem checkpoints drop off the worshipers near the Lions Gate and the Flower Gate. Worshipers who come by public transportation from the northern Jerusalem checkpoints get off on Salah al-Din St. in front of the Damascus gate.

We saw more women and children than previous Fridays. Colorful shops are open on the main Al Wad HaGai Street.


Many security forces who tried to avoid contact with the pedestrians, are positioned in niches and side streets. A temporary “hands off” by choice to pass this day in peace. The rage and mutual loathing had been stifled for the time being.

It is important to note that the permits were valid until 10:00 p.m. and only then did they announce that the permits would be extended until 10:00 a.m. the next day and would allow a stay in the Al Aqsa compound In Laylat al-Qadr (the night of giving the Koran).

According to the Waqf data - 200,000 worshipers arrived at the Al Aqsa compound during that day and night. Most of them are probably residents of Jerusalem and Israeli Arabs, only tens of thousands from the West Bank.