Tensions Run High on Last Friday of Ramadan at Al Aqsa Mosque

The Israeli police said they arrested eight people at the Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, where thousands of Muslim worshippers had come for dawn prayers on the last Friday of Ramadan amid heavy security.

The police said that the eight people had been arrestedfor participating in “incendiary chants and endorsement of terrorism.” It did not provide further details.

The mosque is one of the holiest sites for Muslims and is part of a compound that is sacred to Jews, who call it the Temple Mount. It has long been a chronic flashpoint in tensions between Israel and the Palestinians.

Concerns have run high that it could be the site of violence during Ramadan, the holiest month for Muslims and one that has taken on added significance during the war in Gaza.

Muslim access to the mosque has been a point of contention, and in recent years Israel has exerted tighter control over the compound. This year, Israel tightened restrictions on movement for Palestinians from the West Bank during Ramadan.

After the dawn prayer on Friday — the holiest day of the week for Muslims — video footage from the Reuters news agency showed what it said was tear gas hanging in the air in the early morning light.

Back to top button