The narrow streets, avenues and bazaars of the Old City region, which includes the Masjid al-Aqsa, the first qibla of Muslims, are decorated with colorful lights and oil lamps for Ramadan.
Thousands of Muslims of all ages came to Masjid al-Aqsa for the first tarawih prayer, following the announcement that Thursday would be the first day of Ramadan, following the crescent observation made yesterday in Masjid al-Aqsa.
Hundreds of Palestinians gathered in the Damascus Gate area of the Old City. The Palestinians had fun singing hymns, salawat, marches and songs. The stalls set up by peddlers created colorful images.
Every year, during the month of Ramadan, an average of 10 thousand Muslims pray daily in Harem-i Sharif, this number rises to 150,000 on Fridays.
Aksa has the distinction of being the first qibla of the Islamic world.
East Jerusalem and the West Bank, including Masjid al-Aqsa, have been occupied by Israel since 1967. About 200,000 Jewish settlers live in East Jerusalem and about 500,000 in the West Bank. Under international law, all Jewish settlements in these areas are considered illegal. Masjid al-Aqsa is the first qibla of Muslims.
Jews, on the other hand, are carrying out excavations under the supervision of Israel, claiming that the remains of the Temple of Solomon are located under the Masjid al-Aqsa Complex, which includes the Qibla Masjid and the Kubbetu’s Sahara Mosque, as well as a museum, madrasahs and a large courtyard, and argue that they have the right to worship in the Harem-i Sharif. .
The Israeli administration takes the Jewish settlers into the courtyard of the Masjid al-Aqsa under police protection, and imposes an age restriction on the entrance of Muslims.
The beginning of the holy Passover for Jews in the middle of Ramadan and the calls of fanatical Jewish settler groups to raid Masjid al-Aqsa under the control of the Israeli police during this period raise concerns. The Palestinian administration and the international community are warning against the raids of Jewish settlers on Masjid al-Aqsa during Ramadan.
Palestinians’ concerns are growing as far-right politician Itamar Ben-Gvir, a supporter of the fanatical Jewish settlers who raided the Masjid al-Aqsa, is sitting in the seat of the Minister of National Security in charge of the police in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.
In a written statement, the Israeli police announced that reinforcements will be sent to Jerusalem in Ramadan. Police did not announce any restrictions on the raiding of the Masjid al-Aqsa by fanatical Jewish settlers during Ramadan.
Tension may escalate in Ramadan
On the other hand, it is stated that Israel is “concerned” about the increase in tension in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem with the start of Ramadan.
In the Israeli media, it is reported that the security units “warned the government that the blood pressure could rise” during Ramadan.
As a result of the attacks of Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers, 89 Palestinians, including the elderly, women and children, have lost their lives in the occupied areas since the beginning of the year. A total of 15 people, including one Ukrainian citizen, were killed in the attacks against the Israelis.