The holy mosque in East Jerusalem was reopened Sunday morning after a 2.5-month curfew.
Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem has reopened early Sunday morning after being closed for 2.5 months due to the corona pandemic.
Al-Aqsa Mosque is Islam’s third holiest site after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.
During the song “God is Greatest, We Will Protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque With Our Soul and Blood,” the group of believers was welcomed by the mosque’s director, Omar al-Kiswani, who thanked them for their patience.
Al-Aqsa Mosque closed its doors on March 15 in an attempt to curb the infection with coronavirus.
Muslims believe that Prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven from Temple Square – known as Haram al-Sharif by Muslims – and the square has often been a focal point of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The temple site is also sacred to the Jews, who believe it is the location of two biblical temples, one of which was destroyed in the year 70.
Al-Aqsa Mosque is located in East Jerusalem, which has been occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War in 1967.
Jerusalem holds some of the most sacred places for Muslims, Christians, and Jews alike. This applies – besides al-Aqsa Mosque and Temple Square – the crying wall, Bethesda Dam and Calvary.
On the first day of the Eid feast earlier in May, fighting between Israeli police and Palestinians erupted as believers tried to break through barriers to enter Temple Square.
It is Jordan who has formally overseen the shrine. Jordan controlled the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, until Israel’s occupation in 1967.
As the number of coronavirus cases continues to decline, both Israel and the Palestinian territories have begun to ease restrictions in recent days.
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