Aqsa mosque ready to host Ramadan worshipers
June 15, 2015 3:52 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 23, 2015 10:52 A.M.)
(AFP/Thomas Coex, File)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- The Palestinian Ministry of Endowment says preparations have been made to host worshipers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque during the month of Ramadan.
Director of the ministry, Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, told Ma'an that every Palestinian Muslim has the right to pray at the holy site during Ramadan, criticizing heavy Israeli restrictions on access.
“All the people of Palestine have the right to access the city and pray in the Al-Aqsa Mosque in full freedom without the need for permits," he said.
The ministry has prepared a schedule of daily programs and religious lessons in side the compound for worshipers, and eight health care centers have been set up to cater for medical emergencies.
The mosque authorities will also provide free meals to worshipers during Suhoor (dawn fast) and Iftar (evening fast) which have been donated by Palestinian organizations.
Several tents have also been set up to provide shade for worshipers.
Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are subject to a strict permit regime by the state of Israel that limits their freedom of movement and largely prevents them from entering East Jerusalem, which is part of the Palestinian territories.During Ramadan, however, Israel traditionally eases these restrictions for West Bank residents, allowing them to enter to the city in order to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, as well as to mark the festivities at the month's conclusion.