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Israel bars Palestinians from Al-Aqsa Mosque for Friday prayer

November 21, 2020 at 3:37 pm

Palestinians gather to perform Friday prayer at Masjid al-Aqsa complex in East Jerusalem’s Old City on November 6, 2020 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

For the fourth consecutive Friday, Israeli occupation police have prevented hundreds of Palestinian worshippers in the occupied West Bank from reaching Al-Aqsa Mosque to perform Friday prayer, Anadolu Agency reported.

According to Anadolu Agency, Israeli police stopped West Bank worshippers at checkpoints at the entrances to the Old City in Jerusalem and allowed only a very small number to reach Al-Aqsa Mosque following identity checks.

The Israeli police erected checkpoints at the entrances to the Old City in the morning. The Palestinians who were prevented from reaching Al-Aqsa Mosque performed Friday prayer on the streets near the Old City.

The Imam of Al-Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Yusuf Abu Sneina denounced in the Friday sermon: “The repeated prevention of worshippers from reaching the mosque.”

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“It is not permissible under any circumstances to continue preventing worshippers from reaching the mosque to perform prayer,” Abu Sneina expressed.

About 12,000 residents of East Jerusalem and Palestinians living in Israel perform Friday prayer at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, according to local estimates.

Israel requires residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to obtain special permits in order to reach Jerusalem to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. ​​​​​​​