Palestinians hold Aqsa prayers in largest Ramadan gathering since Covid - GulfToday

Palestinians hold Aqsa prayers in largest Ramadan gathering since Covid


A Palestinian woman raises her arms in prayer at the Al-aqsa Mosque compound.

Gulf Today Report


Thousands of Palestinians streamed to Al-Aqsa mosque in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem on the first Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in the largest such gathering since the coronavirus pandemic.


Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, head of the Waqf Islamic affairs council, said he expected as many as 100,000 arrivals from Jerusalem, the Israeli-occupied West Bank .


aqsa12 Palestinians take part in the first Friday prayers of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.


It would be the highest number of Ramadan worshippers at Al-Aqsa since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic more than a year ago, he told AFP.


Last Ramadan, "They (Israeli authorities) did not allow anyone to enter Al-Aqsa except for me."


By early afternoon, Palestinian women in headscarves and long robes were seated on the carpeted floor of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound reading the Quran holy book.


aqsa13 Palestinian women read the Quran outside the Dome of the Rock at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.


But despite the lifting of some coronavirus restrictions, the sprawling plaza of the compound was far from full.


Cogat, the Israeli military body that administers the occupied territories, said 10,000 vaccinated Palestinians were issued permits to enter Jerusalem for prayers.


Police shut down roads around Jerusalem as busses loaded with of pilgrims drove in.


aqsa14 Palestinian men read the Quran  inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem's Old City.


The Muslim prayers on the first Friday of this year's Ramadan follow tensions in the city.

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