May 29, 2024
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Al-Aqsa Mosque Empty During Friday Prayer Due To Israeli Restrictions Digitalislamicguide

Al-Aqsa Mosque almost empty due to Israeli restrictions

Israeli restrictions persist, barring tens of thousands of Palestinians from participating in Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque for the eighth consecutive week since the Gaza Strip conflict erupted.

An official from the Islamic Endowments Department in Jerusalem disclosed to Anadolu that a mere 3,500 individuals managed entry for Friday prayers, a stark contrast to the usual 50,000 attendees.

Preferring anonymity due to security concerns, the official highlighted the Israeli police’s stringent limitations on worshippers’ access to the mosque over the past eight Fridays.

“The Israeli police restricted entry primarily to the elderly, resulting in near-empty courtyards and prayer spaces during the designated prayer hours,” the official stated.

Emphasizing that access restrictions to Al-Aqsa Mosque intensified during the conflict’s onset, the official noted heightened measures, particularly on Fridays.

Witnesses observed Israeli police presence in the Old City’s alleys, detaining young residents and preventing their passage to Al-Aqsa Mosque. Consequently, hundreds of Palestinians resorted to praying in nearby streets.

Anadolu’s witnesses reported Israeli police confrontations with worshippers in the Wadi Al-Joz neighborhood after obstructing their route to Al-Aqsa Mosque. Witnesses recounted police firing tear gas, physically assaulting worshippers, and pursuing them through the streets.

Following a humanitarian pause, Israel recommenced military operations in the Gaza Strip, targeting various zones across the north, center, and south. The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza confirmed numerous casualties and fatalities.

Within three hours of the pause ending, Israel’s renewed strikes claimed at least 32 Palestinian lives and inflicted multiple injuries, as reported by Gaza’s Health Ministry.

The truce between Israel and Hamas, effective since November 24, concluded Friday morning.

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