ISRAEL: RAMADAN: 200,000 MUSLIMS ATTEND PRAYERS AT AL-AQSA MOSQUE



(24 Feb 1995) English/Nat

On the last Friday in Ramadan over than 200,000 Moslem worshipers attended prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem – its Islam’s third holiest site.

Israel beefed up security in Jerusalem, in an attempt to head off clashes during the prayers.

1,700 police officers had been put on duty in the city.

The prayers come a day before the secular calendar anniversary of the Hebron mosque massacre.

On February 25, 1994, Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein shot dead 29 Palestinians during Ramadan Friday prayers at Hebron in the West Bank. Survivors beat Goldstein to death.

A group of left wing Israelis accompanied by tens of Palestinians marched through the streets of Hebron headed in the direction of the mosque, in commemoration of the massacre.

Meanwhile several hundred Palestinians in Hebron prayed outside the Mosque, due to the limited number of worshipers allowed inside the cave.

Many Palestinians aren’t able to attend the prayers at Islam’s third holiest site, because of the Israeli security clampdown which has sealed the borders of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The clampdown came after two Islamic suicide bombers killed 21 Israelis near Tel Aviv.

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