Sunday saw an uptick in violence on the Temple Mount as thousands flocked to the Al Aqsa Mosque to honor the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The confrontations erupted at the entrance of the sacred site, involving Israeli police and several young men, whom police commander Kobi Shabtai described as “agitators.”

The violence comes as the number of worshippers gathering at the mosque is expected to reach several tens of thousands during the holiday. A report from Ynet indicates that around 20,000 Arabs from various parts of the country have already made the pilgrimage. Israel Police have placed additional officers and volunteers to secure the area and have been tracking social posts that could incite violence.

Police Chief Doron Turgeman expressed awareness of the unique challenges posed by this year’s Ramadan in light of the war in Gaza.

“We understand that Ramadan this year is different and comes with threats and challenges,” Turgeman said.

“What will win is flexibility and our ability to react to a volatile situation.”

In Judea and Samaria, the IDF and other security forces have also increased their presence in response to Ramadan and the ongoing war. Jewish settlements, major roads, and checkpoints have all been identified by the army as potential targets.

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