Middle East

400,000 Muslims mark Laylat al-Qadr at Al-Aqsa Mosque

Worshipers flock to iconic site despite tight Israeli security and hundreds of police deployed at old Jerusalem's entrance

Aness Suheil Barghoti   | 01.06.2019
400,000 Muslims mark Laylat al-Qadr at Al-Aqsa Mosque

JERUSALEM 

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Muslims on Friday converged on East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque to mark Laylat al-Qadr, the night of the first revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad, according to Palestinian officials.

Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, head of Muslim Endowments and Al-Aqsa Affairs, told Anadolu Agency that some 400,000 Muslims worshipers marked the observance at the holy mosque.

Men over 40, children under 12, and women of all ages were allowed by Israeli authorities to enter occupied East Jerusalem without permits for the occasion.

According to al-Khatib, worshipers arrived at the iconic site despite Israeli security measures and hundreds of police officers deployed at the entrance of Jerusalem’s old city.

Israel has illegally occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.

In a move never recognized by the international community, Israel annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as the self-proclaimed Jewish state’s “eternal and undivided” capital.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third-holiest site after Mecca and Medina. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

International law continues to view both the West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied territory.

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