Palestinian Muslims flock to Al-Aqsa for Eid prayers

Tens of thousands pray at iconic mosque as Israel bans Palestinians from occupied W. Bank from entering E. Jerusalem

Palestinian Muslims flock to Al-Aqsa for Eid prayers

World Bulletin / News Desk

Tens of thousands of Muslims converged on East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque on Wednesday to mark the first day of the Eid al-Fitr, the three-day holiday that follows the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. 

Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, director-general of religious endowments and Al-Aqsa affairs, told Anadolu Agency that some 100,000 Palestinian worshipers had turned out to the holy site to perform Eid prayers. 

According to al-Khatib, most worshippers had come from elsewhere in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem or from Arab villages inside Israel. 

"For the first time in three years, Palestinians from the occupied West Bank have been banned by the Israeli authorities from entering East Jerusalem," he said. 

For Muslims, the Al-Aqsa Mosque represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times. 

Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the Jewish state in a move never recognized by the international community. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Temmuz 2016, 15:59