RAMALLAH, Saturday, April 17, 2021 (WAFA) – Despite Israeli checkpoints and ban on entry of West Bank or Gaza Palestinians, at least 70,000 people attended the first Friday of Ramadan prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s old city, according to the three Palestinian Arabic dailies published today.
They said the Israeli army checkpoints around Jerusalem prevented tens of thousands of would-be worshippers at Al-Aqsa from crossing the checkpoints to reach the closed city.
However, 70,000 people, mainly from East Jerusalem and inside Israel, were able to reach the walled Muslim compound of Al-Aqsa Mosque for the first Friday of Ramadan prayers. Normally, at least a quarter of a million people would attend prayers at Al-Aqsa during Ramadan.
Al-Hayat al-Jadida daily said people raised Palestinian flags and signs following the Friday prayer at Al-Aqsa stressing the right for holding elections in the occupied city.
Al-Ayyam daily said several people were injured or detained when Israeli police attacked Palestinians gathering at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem following the night prayers at Al-Aqsa.
It also said hundreds of people participated in a demonstration in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem against Israeli plans to take over Palestinian homes, displace their residents and give the homes to Israeli settlers.
Al-Quds daily said many were shot and injured by Israeli soldiers in protests against the occupation and settlements in Beit Dajan and Kufr Qaddoum villages in the north of the West Bank. It also said Israeli settlers sabotaged crops in the town of Yatta in the south of the West Bank.
Al-Quds highlighted the conflict over the Iranian nuclear program and said in its top front-page story headline on this topic that Washington ordered Israel to stop blabbing about Iran, and that the Vienna talks on Iran’s nuclear program ended as Iran began to enrich uranium by 60 percent.
The paper said, quoting sources, that the US administration does not object to postponing the Palestinian elections if the Palestinians have to postpone them.
Al-Ayyam daily highlighted the conflict between Washington and Moscow and the expulsion of diplomats from each side.
Coronavirus and its toll at home and the world was also highlighted on the front page of the dailies and said that 19 people have died in Palestine yesterday as 1774 new cases were recorded.