By Said Amouri
Tens of thousands of Muslims, mostly Palestinians, performed Eid al-Adha prayers Tuesday at East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque amid a heavy Israeli security presence in and around Jerusalem’s Old City, witnesses said.
Muslims around the world on Tuesday marked the first day of the four-day Eid al-Adha holiday, during which animals are generally sacrificed, the meat from which is distributed to the poor.
Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for Jerusalem’s Jordan-run Religious Endowments Authority, estimated the number of worshippers at 100,000, many of whom, he said, had come from the Israeli-occupied West Bank and from elsewhere in the Arab/Muslim world.
In a sermon delivered before Eid al-Adha prayers, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, grand mufti of Jerusalem, reiterated the Palestinians’ determination to defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque “in the face of the [Israeli] occupation’s efforts to Judaize it”.
Following prayers, several activities for children were organized in the Al-Aqsa courtyards.