Al-Aqsa Mosque almost empty for 17th Friday prayer due to Israeli curbs

Israeli forces prevented the preacher of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Ikrimah Sabri, from entering the Lions’ Gate

The Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem appeared almost empty for Friday prayer on February 2 due to the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) restrictions for the 17th Friday in a row, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.

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About 13,000 were able to enter the mosque to perform prayers, compared to more than 50,000 in the regular Fridays before restrictions were imposed.

The forces’ measures prevented thousands of worshippers from reaching the mosque. They also prevented the preacher of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Ikrimah Sabri, from entering the Lions’ Gate, the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) reported.

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Israeli restrictions forced hundreds of worshippers to perform prayers in the streets near the Old City, including Lions Gate, Ras al-Amud, and the Wadi al-Joz neighborhood.

Since the start of the war between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas on October 7, 2023, forces have imposed restrictions on entering Al-Aqsa, which are heightened on Fridays.

Israeli forces have installed barriers at the Old City entrances and Al-Aqsa Mosque’s outer gates, allowing only elderly individuals to pass.

Since October 7, the Israeli army has been waging a devastating war on Gaza, resulting in 27,131 deaths and 66,287 injured, causing massive infrastructure destruction and an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.

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