Thousands of Muslim worshipers took to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, in the Old City of Jerusalem, on the first Friday of the holy month of Ramadan.

Head of the public relations office at the Islamic Endowment Department, Firas al-Dibs, said that more than 180,000 visited Al-Aqsa, to perform Friday prayers.

Al-Dibs said that the Muslim worshipers were from both the occupied West Bank and from Jerusalem City itself, in addition to worshipers from other Arab countries, including Jordan, Turkey and Indonesia.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said that Israeli police forces, who were situated at the gates of the Al-Aqsa compound, banned its crews from entry.

The reason for the ban remained unknown and prevented the PRCS crews from providing medical care to anyone suffering from the heat and overcrowding.

Palestinian residents of the West Bank are not allowed to access occupied East Jerusalem or Israel without an Israeli-issued permits.
Ramadan typically sees a slight ease of permit restrictions on Palestinians, particularly women, though the thousands who do get permits are still subjected to long waits and checkpoints and searches by armed Israeli forces, according to Ma’an.

(Al Ray archive image)