Islamic authorities in Jerusalem say 250,000 individuals gathered to attend prayers on the Al-Aqsa Mosque to mark Laylat al-Qadr, because the holy month of Ramadan continues.
The trustworthy congregated on the mosque, one in all Islam’s holiest websites, on Wednesday night, near the golden-topped Dome of the Rock. Muslims consider the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven from the positioning.
Laylat al-Qadr, or Evening of Energy, is believed by Muslims to be the evening the primary verses of the Quran had been revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Laylat al-Qadr is alleged to fall on one of many odd nights of the final 10 days of Ramadan, with the precise evening unknown, though it’s generally believed to be the twenty seventh.
Worshippers gathered amid heightened tensions between Israel and the Palestinians following a string of lethal assaults inside Israel, arrest raids within the West Financial institution and assaults by Israeli police on Palestinians at Jerusalem’s most delicate holy website.
No incidents had been reported on Wednesday evening.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound can also be revered by Jews because the Temple Mount. They predominantly worship on the Wailing Wall, often known as the Buraq Wall in Arabic.
The third Friday prayers of Ramadan on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem had been sandwiched by Israeli police attacks on Palestinians attending prayers, however that didn’t cease some 150,000 Palestinians travelling to the mosque to worship, in keeping with the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf.
Israeli forces raided the mosque on Friday after daybreak prayers, injuring not less than 31 Palestinians, together with three journalists, with rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gasoline. Israeli police mentioned the raids had been in response to Palestinians throwing rocks. Tear gasoline was additionally fired after Friday prayers, hitting Palestinians worshipping on the Dome of the Rock contained in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
Settler incursions below police safety during the past week through the Jewish pageant of Passover had led to day by day confrontations with Palestinians on the mosque, with many injured and arrested.
On the primary day of Passover, April 15, Israeli forces injured not less than 158 Palestinians and arrested 400 others contained in the compound. Dozens extra had been injured and arrested all through the week.
Regardless of fears of issues escalating on the bottom, Palestinians have mentioned that their continued presence at Al-Aqsa is crucial.
“I feel it’s crucial for folks to return to Jerusalem and to Al-Aqsa. You are feeling belonging, you are feeling duty in the direction of Jerusalem, to show our kids that that is our land, that Al-Aqsa is our faith,” Rana Mohammad advised Al Jazeera on the compound.
The 36-year-old mom hails from Nablus within the occupied West Financial institution, and got here to East Jerusalem along with her husband and her five-year-old son.
Ramadan represents a uncommon alternative for Palestinians from the occupied West Financial institution – whereas Palestinian Jerusalemites and people with Israeli passports can entry Al-Aqsa at any time, Palestinians dwelling within the occupied West Financial institution are solely allowed to enter the town with a difficult-to-obtain navy allow outdoors of Ramadan.
“We can not come on regular days, so that you anticipate this second minute by minute. The sensation of being right here is indescribable – you are feeling that your spirit is rejuvenated,” mentioned Mohammad.
Whereas Passover has ended and entrance into the mosque can be restricted to Muslims over the past 10 days of Ramadan, tensions on the bottom in Jerusalem and within the occupied West Financial institution stay excessive.
An increase in assaults by Palestinians inside Israel led to the killing of 14 Israelis in three weeks. In the meantime, Israelis have killed not less than 43 Palestinians for the reason that starting of 2022.
Weeks of protests and raids by Israeli forces on Al-Aqsa throughout Ramadan final yr escalated right into a widespread rebellion throughout Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, and an 11-day assault on the besieged Gaza Strip.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound has been a significant flashpoint between the Israeli occupation and Palestinians for many years, and was the epicentre of the 2000-2005 Palestinian Intifada, or rebellion.
The 14-hectare compound is among the holiest in Islam, and homes the Al-Qibli Mosque (Al-Aqsa Mosque) and the Dome of the Rock.
Aya Abu Moussa, a 33-year-old from al-Lydd (Lod) inside Israel, mentioned whereas she and her household are scared of the political state of affairs, they consider you will need to come to Al-Aqsa.
“There have to be a lot of Palestinians at Al-Aqsa – we can not go away it alone, in any respect. We see what occurs to the youth right here, we can not go away them alone,” Abu Moussa advised Al Jazeera, in reference to confrontations on the mosque. “The extra people who come – the extra they [Israel] can be afraid of raiding it. If there’s no person to dam them, they are going to get too comfy. The youth are limiting them,” she continued.
Based on Abu Moussa, 5 giant buses go away the cities of al-Lydd and al-Ramle (Ramla), in central Israel, every single day in Ramadan for daybreak and night time prayers at Al-Aqsa.
“Ever since final yr’s rebellion in al-Lydd, there was extra consciousness, particularly amongst youth, of the significance of coming to Al-Aqsa and Jerusalem. We thought they’d simply preserve taking part in PUBG, however no,” she mentioned, referring to a preferred laptop recreation.
Yasmeen Tibi, a 21-year-old from Nablus within the occupied West Financial institution, echoed an identical sentiment.
“Our energy is in numbers,” the college pupil advised Al Jazeera. “Those that are in a position to come, ought to come. Each particular person makes a distinction, even when we don’t realise it.”
Tibi got here to Al-Aqsa along with her 5 sisters and her 5 feminine cousins, all donning conventional Palestinian thobes and a keffiyeh.
“We shouldn’t be afraid – we’re the rightful homeowners of this land. They’re those who must be afraid,” she mentioned.
Palestinians from the West Financial institution should cross overcrowded checkpoints and anticipate hours earlier than being allowed to enter Jerusalem. Tibi mentioned that she and her household had left Nablus at 7am and reached Al-Aqsa at 10am, in a journey that was extra exhausting that it wanted to be.
“They handled us like cattle on the checkpoint. Everybody was positioned in small rows and squished collectively. We spent two hours inside Qalandiya checkpoint simply ready in line to cross by,” Tibi mentioned, referring to the primary checkpoint between the West Financial institution and East Jerusalem.
Israel has mentioned the measures are mandatory for safety causes.
Discovering a approach in
Whereas ladies of all ages are allowed to enter with out a navy allow on Fridays this Ramadan, solely males over 50 or boys below 12 years previous got an identical privilege.
Males and boys who didn’t match these standards had been both pressured to use for a navy allow with no assure of acquiring one, or discovered different methods to enter.
Mohammad, 20, jumped off the eight-metre-high (26-foot-high) Israeli separation wall to make it to Al-Aqsa.
Regardless of the heightened Israeli safety measures, Mohammed managed to make it by together with a number of of his pals. “I got here to hope, and to defend Al-Aqsa from the [Israeli] occupation,” Mohammed, who hailed from the Aqabet Jaber refugee camp in Jericho, advised Al Jazeera.
“Each Palestinian should come right here, as a result of the occupation raids the mosque, they hearth tear gasoline and ladies are crushed right here.”
“We’re pressured to confront them [Israel]. That is our land, and the Palestinian folks will persevere till liberation.”
In the meantime, Mohammad Asaad Saeed, a 57-year-old man from Tulkarem within the northern occupied West Financial institution, mentioned the dearth of management is what results in confrontations.
“We’d like somebody to guide us – to liberate Al-Aqsa,” Saeed advised Al Jazeera.
“The Palestinians are defenceless. What the youth do in confrontations – that is what must be achieved by a whole military, not our younger males. The issue is in our leaders.”
Arab League: ‘Al-Aqsa and Haram al Sharif in all its space is a sole place of worship for Muslims.’
The Arab League has referred to as on Israel to finish Jewish prayers contained in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem and warned that such actions had been a flagrant affront to Muslim emotions and will set off wider battle.
The league broke its silence on Thursday on current violent occasions at Al-Aqsa, saying Israel had restricted Muslims of their proper of worship in Jerusalem’s Previous Metropolis, whereas additionally permitting ultra-nationalist Jews to enter the sacred web site below police safety.
“Our calls for are clear that Al-Aqsa and Haram al Sharif in all its space is a sole place of worship for Muslims,” Jordanian International Minister Ayman Safadi advised reporters after an emergency assembly of the league in Amman.
The assembly was referred to as to debate what the league termed “unlawful Israeli insurance policies and measures” in Jerusalem.
Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit mentioned Israel was violating a centuries-old coverage in accordance with which non-Muslims might go to the Al-Aqsa compound, however they have to not pray there.
Safadi, who spoke with United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken this week, met senior US Division of State officers touring the area on Wednesday to debate decreasing tensions on the sacred web site.
The international minister mentioned he had obtained assurances that Israel would halt Jewish worshippers from coming into Al-Aqsa.
Sitting atop the walled Previous Metropolis plateau, the Al-Aqsa compound is understood to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) and to Jews because the Temple Mount, the holiest web site in Judaism the place they consider two historic temples had been situated.
Jordan’s Petra information company mentioned that Arab League warned that Israel’s actions at Al-Aqsa “threatens to ignite a cycle of violence”, and the “assaults and violations symbolize a blatant provocation to the emotions of Muslims”.
The assembly included member international locations that lately normalised ties with Israel, together with the United Arab Emirates and Morocco, in addition to Tunisia, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt and representatives of the Palestinian Authority.
The surge of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory over the previous month – and through the top of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan – has raised fears of a slide again to a wider battle much like final Could’s 11-day Israeli assault on Gaza, through which greater than 250 Palestinians in Gaza and 13 folks in Israel had been killed.
On Wednesday night, Israeli police blocked greater than 1,000 ultra-nationalist demonstrators waving Israeli flags, some shouting “demise to the Arabs”, from reaching Damascus Gate and the Previous Metropolis’s Muslim quarter.
Far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir, a controversial opposition politician, led the protest after being barred from the Damascus Gate space earlier within the day by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.