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Thousands attend morning prayers in al-Aqsa on second day of Ramadan despite Israeli restrictions

Thousands of Muslim worshipers perform the morning prayers in al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday amid strict Israeli measures. (Photo by Paltoday)

Amid tight restriction, thousands of Muslim worshipers have crossed the Israeli military checkpoints deployed early on Friday morning before arriving at al-Aqsa Mosque for prayer.

According to Palestinian media reports, Israeli occupation forces imposed restrictions as Palestinians tried to enter the city of al-Quds to perform Friday prayers.

The Israeli military deployed around 2,000 soldiers in the Old City and al-Aqsa Mosque and placed iron barriers in the streets of the occupied al-Quds.

According to an Israeli military order, men younger than 55 from the West Bank were not allowed to enter al-Quds to attend the prayers.

Many Palestinians have called on worshipers to break their fast during Ramadan inside the courtyards of al-Aqsa Mosque as well as perform prayers in the mosque.

One of their goals is to intensify the presence of Palestinians in the mosque during the holy month to reassert their right to al-Aqsa Mosque and the city of al-Quds, in light of recurrent raids by settlers.

On Thursday night, Israeli forces detained two Palestinians on the first night of Ramadan and dispersed families in the city’s Damascus Gate square where they had gathered to celebrate the holy month.

The Damascus Gate square located at the entrance of the Old City is one of the few public spaces to which Palestinians have access in occupied al-Quds. It is an area where Palestinians usually gather during the holy month of Ramadan to celebrate together. 

“Zionists have militarized the plaza around Damascus Gate (Bab al Amud, "gate of the pillar") with those booths of theirs & their force deployments,” wrote a Palestinian activist on Twitter.

In previous years, clashes erupted between Israeli forces and Palestinians during Ramadan, particularly around the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Islam's third holiest site.

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