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PLO leader: Hamas' Mashaal agreed to new humanitarian ceasefire
Police: 75,000 perform Ramadan prayers at Al-Aqsa
Published Friday 12/07/2013 (updated) 13/07/2013 19:34
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JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Around 75,000 worshipers prayed at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem for the first Friday of the holy month of Ramadan, Israeli police said.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said around 75,000 prayed at the mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, and that so far there had been no incidents.

Israel's army allows Palestinian men aged over 40 and all Palestinian women in the West Bank to enter Jerusalem without permits until midday on Fridays during Ramadan.

Around 6,000 Palestinians from Bethlehem and Hebron queued at the checkpoint in Bethlehem to enter Jerusalem, said Ayman Ibrahim, head of the traffic police in Bethlehem.

They started arriving at 3 a.m., Ibrahim told Ma'an, adding that the number of worshipers was lower than in previous years.

Palestinian police deployed near the checkpoint from 2 a.m. to maintain security in the area, Ibrahim said.

Palestinian Red Crescent teams were also present from before dawn in case of emergencies, Red Crescent medic Imad Takatka told Ma'an.

An Israeli military liaison official at the crossing told Ma'an that Israeli police had deployed heavily in East Jerusalem.

Um Mohammad, 64, from Hebron, was waiting at the checkpoint and told Ma'an it was her first time to perform Ramadan prayers in Jerusalem.

Alaa Dariyeh, a 24-year-old from Hebron, tried to enter Jerusalem but was turned back from the checkpoint. His application for a permit had been refused, but he arrived at the checkpoint early Friday morning hoping to be allowed to cross.

Rami Barakat, an Israeli military liaison official, told Ma'an that Israeli forces coordinated with Palestinian Authority security services to facilitate the movement of worshipers.

He said the checkpoint had run smoothly and without incident despite the heavy volume of traffic.
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1 ) sweet and sour / Poland
12/07/2013 14:38
How lucky Mel/USA for the 75,000 Mohammedan devotees to live in a country where they can pray. How many of the 56 Islamic states allow Christians to worship in public?

2 ) Ariella / USA
12/07/2013 14:40
Congratulations to all the Muslims of Palestine! Ramadan Karim. May you be blessed on this holy month and remain steadfast in your devotion. Your time will come, the promise is yours, bath in the glory of GODs love for all Palestinians Muslims and Christian's alike!

3 ) Ariella / USA
12/07/2013 16:27
@1 ) sweet and sour / Poland. Your so predictable because your a brainless Israeli Zionist that's takes on Christan and Muslim identities but we can see right through you SouthPark/bear. Obviously Israel gives great lessons in stupidity but you can't get away from yourself. As for Mel/USA the fact that you have to meantion her obviously proves get greatness and your inferiority complex!!!!

4 ) Mel / USA
12/07/2013 18:03
& p.s. #1: Over 1/2 the harassed,occupied,blockaded Palestinians in E/J,W/B &Gaza are over 18yrs of age(800,000 in Gaza alone)! Not to mention 7 MILLION expelled,persecuted in the diaspora,of ALL AGES)who would LOVE to be in Jerusalem,at home,praying at the beautiful al-Aqsa.Heck,I'm Christian,&I'd love to join them in prayer!But Israel wouldn't let old me in, unless I was a RADICAL "settler"(colonist),like Ariel Sharon! USA knows how colonialism works!

5 ) sweet and sour / Poland
13/07/2013 00:01
@4 Mel/USA you are welcome to pray and visit in Israel. As in previous years, the USA remains the largest single source country for incoming tourism, with about 610,000 visitors. shame YOU ARE UNABLE TO PRAY AS Christian in Islamic countries freely. Those 7 million are not even welcome in Islamic countries to live and work freely.

6 ) A fan of the great Mel / UK
13/07/2013 00:05
We love you Mel!!!!!

7 ) Jock / Scotland
13/07/2013 10:12
''I'm Christian,&I'd love to join them in prayer!But Israel wouldn't let old me in,'' Nonsense, like so much you post.

8 ) Carla / UK
13/07/2013 14:46
Jock / Scotland you need brains to keep up with Mel Jock. The fact that your only able to repeat rather than add shows all that consumes the space in between your ears is vacant space!
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