MECCA (Ma'an) -- More than 25 hajj pilgrims from South Africa will visit the Al-Aqsa mosque after completing the pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, a Ma'an reporter said Sunday.
A South African pilgrim told Ma'an that he had established a travel agency in South Africa that encourages Muslim pilgrims to visit Al-Aqsa in East Jerusalem.
The pilgrim said that after completing hajj in Saudi Arabia around 25 South Africans will travel to the Al-Aqsa mosque to continue their pilgrimage.
Palestinian Authority Minister of Endowments and Religious Affairs Mahmoud al-Habash said he welcomed the idea of pilgrimages to Al-Aqsa in solidarity with Palestinians.
He called on all Arabs and Muslims to visit the mosque to pray and also to witness Palestinian "suffering due to Israeli practices."
Al-Habash added that he is interested in "highlighting the issue of Al-Aqsa mosque" as well in supporting such solidarity delegations "financially and materially."
Yemeni Minister of Endowments and Religious Affairs Hamoud Abbad also expressed his wish to visit Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa mosque after performing the pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, adding that he wishes that the Israeli occupation would end.
Yemeni citizens are currently forbidden by their own government from visiting territories occupied by Israel in order to prevent normalization with the occupation regime.
The Al-Aqsa compound, which sits just above the Western Wall plaza, houses both the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque and is the third holiest site in Islam.
It is also venerated as Judaism's most holy place as it sits where Jews believe the First and Second Temples once stood. The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.
Al-Aqsa is located in East Jerusalem, a part of the internationally recognized Palestinian territories that have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.