Mosques in the Gaza Strip reopened on Wednesday after a 70-day closure due to the novel coronavirus, with one worshipper saying he was "overjoyed" despite fears over the pandemic.
"The Islamic Waqf department decided to shut down the enclosed prayer places inside the blessed Aqsa mosque until further notice as a protective measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus. All prayers will be held in the open areas of the Aqsa mosque," the director of Al-Aqsa mosque, Omar Kiswani told the media.
In this time of the pandemic, the world must pledge itself to cease all civilian conflicts, especially during the holy month of Ramadan (‘More than 200 Palestinians hurt in Al Aqsa mosque clashes with Israeli police’, May 8, Gulf Today).
Video footage showed Israel’s “barbaric attack” as Israeli riot police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades at Palestinians who hurled rocks, bottles and fireworks at officers at Islam’s third-holiest site (“UAE, Saudi condemn Israeli plan to evict Palestinians”,
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.
At least 205 Palestinians and 17 officers were injured in the night-time clashes at Islam's third-holiest site and around East Jerusalem, Palestinian medics and Israeli police said.
Israel's army launched air strikes on Gaza Monday amid spiralling violence sparked by unrest at Jerusalem's Al Aqsa mosque compound. Adding to the sense of chaos, a huge fire engulfed trees in the Al Aqsa compound that houses the mosque.
A tree caught fire outside Jerusalem's Al Aqsa mosque on Monday, but the blaze was quickly put out and no damage was caused to the mosque.