Al Aqsa, third holiest shrine in Islam
Al Aqsa, third holiest shrine in IslamIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Israel on Friday authorized Palestinian Authority police to enter areas of Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty. The unusual permission was given in order to ensure order as tens of thousands of Arabs headed for the Temple Mount to attend services at the mosques there on the first Friday of Ramadan.

No unusual incidents were reported, police said. Israeli police were stationed at “strategic areas” in an around the Old City, ready to respond to unrest.

Police and PA security officers were prepared for the possibility of mass rallies either for or against deposed Egyptian leader Mohammed Morsi. Early Friday, a group hung a large sign outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount with an image of Morsi, and a caption saying that he was “the legitimate leader of Egypt.”

By 11:00 AM, Israeli police said, some 53,000 PA Arabs had entered Jerusalem in order to visit the Temple Mount, adding to the large numbers of Jerusalem Arabs who visited there as well.