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40,000 worshipers pray at Al-Aqsa after Israeli decision to seal gate

March 8, 2019 1:24 P.M. (Updated: March 10, 2019 10:18 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli police forces were deployed across the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, while Muslim worshipers gathered to perform prayers, after an Israeli decision to reseal the al-Rahma Gate (Gate of Mercy), one of the Al-Aqsa Mosque gates, on Friday.

A Ma'an reporter said that more than 40,000 worshipers gathered for Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
Sources added that Israeli police forces, including snipers, were deployed across the compound, in case of clashes.

It is noteworthy that throughout February, the al-Rahma gate was sealed off and reopened several times due to ongoing peaceful protests carried out by Palestinian activists and worshipers in front of the gate.

Israeli forces assaulted dozens of Palestinians during such protests and detained a number of them, in addition to banning top Waqf officials, who played an important part in the reopening of the gate, from entry to Al-Aqsa up to 40 days.

The al-Rahma Gate is a big building that lays to the east of the Al-Aqsa, the Israeli authorities sealed the building in 2003 as it was the headquarters of the Islamic Heritage Committee; Israel had said at the time that the building was being used for political activities. In 2017, an Israeli court ordered that the building be closed until a further notice.

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