Quarter of a million perform the first Ramadan Friday prayer in Al-Aqsa Mosque
July 13, 2013

Two hundred and fifty thousand worshipers performed the first Ramadan Friday prayer in Al-Aqsa Mosque. Men below the age of 40 who hold the West Bank ID were prevented from entering through the checkpoints that were established on the entrances of Jerusalem; the occupation authorities also prevented the residents of Gaza strip from entering the city of Jerusalem. Israeli police were deployed in the streets leading to Al-Aqsa, and they closed the main roads forcing the worshipers to drive long ways in order to get to Al-Aqsa. Al-Aqsa courtyards and internal mosques were crowded with male and female worshipers who managed to sit and pray in the shade, under the trees, under the umbrellas and close to the water fans because of the hot weather; several worshipers were spraying water on the others. The Jerusalem and Palestinian Mufti, Sheikh Mohammad Hussein, called the worshipers to come and pray at Al-Aqsa all year long and not just in the month of Ramadan, noting that people from all around the West Bank came to pray in Al-Aqsa to emphasize the Arab and Islamic identity of this Mosque.