Jerusalem (QNN) – Tens of thousands of Palestinian Muslim worshipers over 40 years from East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Arab towns across Israel attended the third Friday of Ramadan at Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem.
The worshipers made their way to the mosque compound, passing into East Jerusalem via Qalandia military checkpoint, as a severe heat wave with temperatures as high as 41 struck the region.
The extremely hot conditions prompted the deployment of emergency medical teams by the Islamic Waqf Department and Palestinian Red Crescent Society outside and inside the mosque compound to deal with emergencies resulting from heat strokes and heat exhaustion.
Men over 40, children under 13 and women of all ages are allowed to enter East Jerusalem without permits for the occasion on Fridays. Men under 40, however, are banned entry into the city.
Israeli occupation authorities beefed up police deployments in different parts of the Old City of Jerusalem as well as at all the alleys leading to the mosque compound.
Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters towards Palestinian young men under 40 years who attempted to break through the section of Israel’s wall surrounding Jerusalem in order to attend the Friday prayer at the mosque compound and detained a number of them.
The tear gas was spread around by the wind, causing dozens of Palestinians gathering at the checkpoint to suffocate.
Ramadan fasting month started on Monday May 6 and at least one billion Muslims across the globe began fasting with fasting hours ranging between nine and 19 hours.
For many Palestinians in Jerusalem and across the occupied Palestinian territory, Ramadan is directly connected to the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the third holiest site in Islam, houses both the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque.
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.