250 thousand Palestinians pray in Jerusalem this Friday

September 4, 2010 6:05 AM George Rishmawi Holy sites, Jerusalem, News Report 0

At least 250 thousand Palestinians prayed in the Aqsa Mosque and the surrounding yards on the last Friday of the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan, Palestinian media sources reported. Israeli sources estimated the number at 135 thousand.The worshipers came from different parts of the West Bank and Israel, despite measures taken by Israeli military and police who beefed up their presence on the entrances of the city in an attempt to prevent Palestinians form reaching the Aqsa Mosque.

At least one chopper and a surveillance balloon were flying above the Aqsa Mosque area during all the prayer time.

Witnesses reported some clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinians attempting to enter Jerusalem for prayers at the northern entrance of the city near the Qalandia refugee camp.

The Islamic WAQF department, responsible for the holy sites, set up umbrellas to keep the worshipers in the shade, as temperature raised up to 100 Fahrenheit (Appx 37 C) at noon time.

Palestinians who live in the West Bank and not residents of Jerusalem, are not allowed to enter Jerusalem unless they receive a special permit from the Israeli authorities which is rarely granted.

Those who enter Jerusalem without permit, risk being arrested and pay high fines to the Israeli state.

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George Rishmawi

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