Ramadan, Nablus Gate, and Entry to the Temple Mount

Nur B. (photographeר), Avital T. (reporting)


A mass of people thronged on its way to Friday prayers at the El-Aksah Mosque



The crowd streamed forward on foot and in buses.  Youngsters (girls and boys), adults and elderly people descended the steps of the Nablus Gate, some dressed in workday clothes and others in their finery. Many were accompanied by their children, whom they photographed with the Old City wall in the background.  For most of them this visit was a rare and festive occasion.


When we left we discovered the large number of buses, and according to the Website Atar 202, there were also buses with Palestinian license plates. Even the weather was more pleasant than expected.  The road opposite the gate was blocked and this eased the passage, and security agents sheltered everyone in a tent on the pavement, without holding up those who were comnig.


After more than an hour we entered the Old City and noted the large number of conspicuous security guards, compared with previous years. 


Here they are at the first corner at the Via Doloroso









And  at the corner of Haguy Road


At the last junction before the entrance to Temple Mount, at the corner of Haguy and Ma`alot Hamidrasha roads, soldiers and policemen blocked the path underneath the beautiful arch.

After Nur photographed the soldiers, and while the worshipers were hurrying on their way in front of them, we moved aside to allow two women to examine the dresses hanging above us.  And thus we discovered and were discovered by another group of security guards, on our left side. The officer in charge had no idea who we were and what we were doing at this time and place.  After a short explanation and a request that we should move farther away, each side returned to their own affairs. The women and the owner of the shop hurried to their prayers and we returned to our street corner, illuminated by prayers from above.


And from this corner the worshippers continued, accompanied by a completely different kind of surveillance . . .