Thursday, September 19, 2019

Thousands try to cross through checkpoints for Ramadan prayers in Jerusalem

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By Henry James - June 04, 2018
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Section: [Main News] [IN PICTURES]
Tags: [Qalandiya checkpoint] [border crossings] [Ramadan] [al-Aqsa] [Jerusalem] [permits]

On Fridays during the holy month of Ramadan, people from all over the West Bank pass through the checkpoints at Qalandia and Bethlehem in order to access Jerusalem and pray at Al Aqsa Mosque.

For this month only, Israeli Authorities allow women of all ages to cross. For male Palestinians between 12 and 40 years old, access to Jerusalem remains forbidden, except for the ones with permits.
 
Eighteen-year-old Ali Malek* told Palestine Monitor: “I just want to go to Jerusalem and pray. It’s Ramadan and today is Friday. I have never been to Al Aqsa Mosque but I don’t lose hope because I know one day I will.”
 
Every Friday, thousands of worshippers, male, female, old and younger, are trying to make it through to Jerusalem.
 
Al Aqsa Mosque is considered to be the 3rd holiest place for Muslim worshippers, after Mecca and Medina. Located in the Old City of Jerusalem, it has become a strategic and political place.
 
Israeli Authorities have a high interest in the Al Aqsa grounds as they believe the mosque is built on the Temple Mount - a holy place for the Jewish worshippers.
 
* name changed for privacy reasons

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