Over 100,000 Muslims Pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque for Eid Festival
Some 100,000 Muslims prayed at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on the first day of the Eid al-Adha festival. The tens of thousands of worshippers on Tuesday morning included many from the West Bank, after Israel lifted restrictions on Palestinians traveling to the site and visiting family members in Israel. The holiday began on Monday evening and ends on Friday.
On Sunday, over 1,600 Jewish pilgrims visited the site, which they call the Temple Mount, to commemorate the fast of the Ninth of Av. Arab leaders accused the pilgrims of “storming” Al-Aqsa compound.
In his Tuesday Eid sermon, Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, the imam of Al-Aqsa Mosque and head of Jerusalem’s Supreme Islamic Authority, said: “We have been afflicted in these blessed days by violations of the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque. Its grounds have been desecrated by settlers yesterday and the day before,” The New Arab website reported.
Jews are prohibited from praying at the site though, in recent days, Israeli media have reported that pilgrims to the site have been engaging in low-key prayers and that police at the site have turned a blind eye.