250,000 attend Al-Aqsa prayers

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine Sheikh Mohammed Hussein on Friday said that despite Israeli measures, some 250,000 Palestinian worshipers succeeded to reach Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem for last Friday prayers of the holy month of Ramadan

Hussein told Arab News that “around 250,000 worshipers succeeded to reach Al-Aqsa Mosque despite the strict Israeli measures at the military checkpoint surrounding the occupied city of Jerusalem.”

Since the start of the holy month of Ramadan, the Israeli security forces have allowed Palestinian married men aged 50 and over and women aged 45 and over to enter Jerusalem.

Arab Palestinians inside Israel and those living in East Jerusalem do not face restrictions in visiting the mosque compound, the place where the Palestinian uprising began in 2000. But since then, Palestinians from the West Bank have had an increasingly difficult time entering Jerusalem. With occasional exceptions, Palestinians from the Gaza Strip cannot get permission to visit the city.

Israeli security sources said that thousands of Israeli Police and Border Guard officers were deployed in Jerusalem’s Old City and the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound “to prevent all disturbances by anyone.”