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300,000 pray at Masjid-ul-Aqsa on third Friday of Ramadan

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Jerusalem: More than 300,000 of Palestinians poured into Jerusalem to attend the third Friday prayers of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, amid heightened security restrictions.

Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, General Director of the Islamic Endowment (Waqf), who manages the compound told Ma’an news that around 300,000 worshipers performed prayers at Al-Aqsa on Friday.

Police reinforcements were deployed across Jerusalem’s Old City.

During Ramadan, Israel authorities loosened entry restrictions and allowed men over 40, children younger than 12 years and women of all ages without permits, normally required to cross checkpoints and exit the territory.

Sacred to Muslims, Jerusalem is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque which represents Islam’s third-holiest site, the spot where Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) began his night Journey to heaven.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East War. It later takes possession of the holy city in 1980, asserting it as the unified capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move not at all recognized by the international community.

AFP inputs