Israeli news reported on Thursday night that Israeli Police Commissioner, Moshe Karadi, said during a security assessment that some 3,000 police and Border Police forces will be deployed on Friday around the Al Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem, and around several Arab towns near the city.The decision came following an assessment by the Israeli Police regarding the situation in Jerusalem amidst the ongoing digging near the Al Aqsa Mosque.

A total of 3000 policemen and border-guard units will be deployed around the mosque, the Old City and the surrounding villages, the ‘Arabs48’ news website reported.

Israeli sources reported that Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, in coordination with the “Jerusalem Affairs Minister”, permitted the installation of surveillance cameras linked to the internet in order to document the digging and activities in that area. The cameras broadcast live images 24 hours a day.

On Friday, only men 50 years old or older will be allowed to enter the Mosque area as long as they are residents of Jerusalem and Israel. Women 40 years old and older will be allowed to enter the mosque area.   

The Israeli police have taken prisoner at least 70 Palestinians in Jerusalem since last Friday’s protest against the digging. Some of the arrested civilians were identified to the police through the surveillance cameras.

On Thursday, the Islamic Movement in Israel vowed to continue the protests against the digging.

According to Israeli media, the Islamic Movement “expressed its outrage over the understanding with Turkey, saying it would further calculate its actions based on what is happening in the field and not according to news reports”.

Earlier on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, agreed to allow Turkish inspectors examine the digging near the Al Aqsa Mosque, following a request from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Olmert is currently on an official trip to Turkey; he went there prepared with photographs and maps of the site Israel is digging. Erdogan said that he will send a team of experts to examine the site.