Jerusalem, The Old City, Fri 20.7.12, Morning
Translation – Bracha B.A.
The First Day of Ramadan
The Old City, Jerusalem
We arrived at the Old City at 11:20. When we reached Damascus Gate we did not see anything out of the ordinary, which was quite noticeable. A lot of groups of tourists were walking about and many of the stores were open. There was no tension in the air and aside from the unusually large number of policemen, there was no indication that there would soon be tremendous crowds of people in the area.
We approached our lookout point which was the entrance to the Temple Mount where only worshippers are allowed to enter. There was a lot of traffic but all was quiet and the faces of the worshippers did not show any tension of expectation of any difficulty. The policemen politely and efficiently refused to let anyone who was not going to worship into the area. One person was told not to enter the Temple Mount with the camera. Another person who had come with a group of teenage girls who were wearing pants and carrying suitcases was stopped and became angry. The policemen answered him quietly and since he was going to pray he was allowed to enter as well as the group with him. Evidently he was a Muslim tour guide who spoke Arabic. The five policemen managed to direct traffic efficiently and we hope things will continue to be the same in the next few weeks.