Thousands of Palestinians poured into Jerusalem to attend the first Friday prayers of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, Islam’s third-holiest site. Police reinforcements were deployed across Jerusalem’s Old City to provide security around the ultra-sensitive mosque compound, which is also Judaism’s holiest site. “It is a religious obligation to pray at Al-Aqsa, regardless of the difficulties and obstacles,” observed one of the worshippers.
There is fear that far-right members of Israel’s governing coalition might seek to change the longstanding rules governing the mosque compound, under which Jews can visit but not pray in the compound, Islam’s third-holiest site.
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