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Despite restrictions, 80,000 worshipers performed the first Friday prayer of Ramadan at Al-Aqsa Mosque. (Photo: via QNN)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

 Israeli authorities imposed restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in East Jerusalem, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

80,000 worshipers performed the first Friday prayer of the holy month of Ramadan at Al-Aqsa Mosque, in occupied East Jerusalem, despite severe restrictions imposed by the Israeli occupation authorities, according to the Islamic Endowments Department.

Footage circulating on social media showed buses transporting worshippers from Ramallah to Al-Aqsa, and others arriving on foot hours before prayer time.

According to Al-Jazeera, the Israeli occupation forces deployed 3,000 of its troops in occupied Jerusalem and installed iron barriers at the gates of Al-Aqsa. Israeli authorities also strengthened their presence at military checkpoints between the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem.

Al-Jazeera correspondent reported that Israeli forces prevented hundreds of Palestinians from entering Jerusalem under the pretext of not having permits to reach Al-Aqsa.

The Israeli police also prevented all medical teams from entering the Al-Aqsa compound.

Security Permits

Last Monday, the Israeli army said that it would allow worshippers from the occupied West Bank to enter Jerusalem on Fridays throughout the month of Ramadan, on the condition of obtaining a valid security permit and following an assessment of the security conditions.

Israeli authorities added that only men over the age of 55, women over the age of 50, and children under the age of ten will be allowed to enter.

Hamas: Break the Siege

The Palestinian Resistance movement Hamas has called on Palestinians to rally on Friday to break an Israeli siege on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem.

“We urge our people to urgently participate in defending Al-Aqsa Mosque against the Israeli aggression,“ the Palestinian group said in a statement on Thursday.

The statement called on Palestinian residents of Jerusalem “to commit to only performing prayers in the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.“

“Let the first Friday of Ramadan be a day of escalation in all arenas in support of Gaza, Al-Quds, and Al-Aqsa, and in solidarity with the steadfastness of our people and their resistance against the aggression,” Hamas continued.

The Palestinian movement urged Arab and Islamic nations to “make this blessed Friday, and all days and Fridays of this sacred month, a field and a movement of widespread and continuous escalation, in the squares and arenas”.

It also called on “the free people of the world and those with living consciences who support our just cause everywhere”.

Israel has restricted access of Palestinian worshippers into the mosque amid growing tensions across the occupied West Bank, in parallel with Israel’s ongoing genocidal war on Gaza.

Gaza Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.  

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 31,341 Palestinians have been killed, and 73,134 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire.’


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