70,000 Muslim worshipers flock to Jerusalem for 1st Friday prayers of Ramadan

Prayers held peacefully, despite police fears of violence after 3 consecutive nights of rioting; gathering at site is the largest since start of pandemic

Palestinians take part in the first Friday prayers of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City, on April 16, 2021. (Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP)

Tens of thousands of Muslim worshipers attended the first Friday prayers of the holy month of Ramadan at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, in the largest such gathering since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, head of the Waqf Islamic affairs council, told AFP an estimated 70,000 worshippers came in from Jerusalem, the West Bank and from Arab communities inside Israel.

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