Thousands of Muslim worshipers performed Eid prayers in Muslims’ holy al-Aqsa Mosque at the same time as thousands of others were prevented from reaching Jerusalem.
According to the Islamic Awqaf Department over 150,000 Muslims prayed at al-Aqsa Mosque. Thousands of Palestinians flocked to Occupied Jerusalem at dawn time.
Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, director-general of religious endowments and Al-Aqsa affairs has confirmed that over 100,000 Palestinian worshipers had turned out on Wednesday to perform Eid prayers marking the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan.
“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 is Islam’s third holiest site after al-Masjid al-Haram, or the Grand Mosque in Mecca and Masjid-al-Nabawi (Prophet’s Mosque) in Medina.
The Israeli police said they will intensify military deployment across Jerusalem during the Eid days and seal off main entranceways so as to obstruct Palestinians’ access into Jerusalem and the holy al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Israeli regime occupied East Al Quds and the West Bank during the 1967 West Asia War. It later annexed the city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of Israel in a move never recognized by the international community.
Tensions have been running high in the region following the Israeli regime’s imposition in August 2015 of restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound. The al-Quds Intifada or uprising was also ignited to end the temporal and spatial division of al-Aqsa Mosque, the Israeli settlement construction, the Judaization schemes, and Israeli regimes brutal attacks on Palestinians.
Nearly 220 Palestinians, including children and women, have been killed by Israeli forces since the outbreak of the Intifada in the occupied Palestinian territories last October. Nearly 35 Zionists, mostly Israeli regime troops, have also lost their lives in Palestinian revenge attacks.