Sunday, May 19, 2024

Palestinians perform Eid al-Fitr prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque

More than 60,000 Palestinians offered Eid al-Fitr prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday, but there was no festive atmosphere, instead the whorshippers mourned the victims of Israel's ongoing war on the Gaza Strip.

Large contingents of Israeli police officers were deployed at the entrances, surroundings, and alleys of the city.

The Islamic Endowments Department in Jerusalem said in a statement that more than 60,000 faithful offered their prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque on Eid al-Fitr day, the main Muslim festival following the end of the holy Ramadan month.

According to reports, despite the rain, the Muslim faithful began to reach the mosque even before the Fajr, or morning prayers.

However, witnesses told Anadolu that Israeli police assaulted some people as they entered and exited the mosque in the Bab al-Asbat and Bab al-Silsila areas of the Old City.

Israeli police barred some of them from entering Al-Aqsa, so they prayed at the mosque’s outer gates.

Israel has restricted Palestinian Muslims’ access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque amid growing tensions across the occupied West Bank due to the Israeli army’s ongoing offensive on the Gaza Strip following an Oct. 7 cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the Temple Mount, claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.

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