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Over 200,000 Palestinian worshippers gathered at Al-Aqsa on the last Friday of Ramadan. (Photo: via WAFA)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Israeli forces imposed additional restrictions on entry to the mosque, leading to the detention of at least 27 worshippers.

Despite Israeli restrictions, around 200,000 Palestinian worshippers gathered at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday to perform Tarawih prayers, special night prayers observed during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

According to the official Palestinian news agency, WAFA, Israeli forces were heavily present in Jerusalem’s Old City in an effort to impede access to the mosque. 

Israeli police announced the deployment of 3,600 officers in East Jerusalem, amid expectations of tens of thousands of worshippers flocking to Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Palestinian agency reported that Israeli forces imposed additional restrictions on entry to the mosque, leading to the detention of at least 27 worshippers.

Israeli forces also attacked hundreds of worshipers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque following the dawn prayer, launching tear gas canisters and arresting at least five, according to WAFA.

Several young Palestinian men were stopped and their identities scrutinized at the entrances to the Old City and Al-Aqsa Mosque, with many of them prevented from entering for the Friday sermon.

The Israeli forces also stopped and turned back dozens of elderly worshippers at the Qalandiya and Bethlehem checkpoints, who were intending to attend the prayers, claiming lack of the required permits that would allow them entry.

These events occurred against a backdrop of heightened tensions across the occupied West Bank, spurred by the Israeli army’s ongoing offensive in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Israel’s actions have resulted in restrictions on access to Al-Aqsa Mosque for thousands of Palestinian worshippers.

Gaza Genocide

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

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 33,091 Palestinians have been killed, and 75,750 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.’ 

(PC, Anadolu)

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