Jerusalem

Observers: 
Ina F., Avital T. (reporting)
16/06/2017
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Morning
         

Date: 16.6.2017, Third Friday of Ramadan

Jaffa Gate is the crossing point for the fairly "privileged" Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, and Palestinian citizens of Israel, in buses or cars which park around the area.

11:00 At this time the Jaffa Gate area is totally tranquil.  At 11:30 I checked that this is indeed Friday, since the number of arrivals was much smaller than in previous weeks and years, and few were wearing white. A sort of everyday Friday.

Down Shalsheleth St. the feeling was the same, no sense of the usual urgency.
The few soldiers on the street corners downplay their presence discreetly.
It's hard to explain the relaxed atmosphere and the small number of arrivals, perhaps many have given up coming because of the quiet.

We reach the last security point beyond which only Muslims can cross.

All that's left for us to do is watch the attempts to prevent tourist from continuing further. Some argue, baffled, reluctantly giving up the visit to the Temple Mount. Some linger, others continue to a different destination.

A tourist guide (familiar with our work) stands nearby.  She accompanies two couples from Turkey who enter to see the mosques.  When they return from the packed crowd they admit that this was not the best time for such a tour, and continue happily to explore the rest of the wonders of the Old City.

In the evening a border-policewoman was stabbed to death near Nablus Gate.