350,000 Palestinians mark Laylat al-Qadr at Al-Aqsa Mosque

SHAFAQNA - Thousands of Palestinian Muslims on Monday converged on East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque to mark Laylat al-Qadr, which commemorates the night on which the Quran was revealed by God to Prophet Muhammad.

Men over 50 years old, children under 12 and women over 30 were allowed by the Israeli authorities to enter occupied East Jerusalem without permits for the occasion.

Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, director-general of Muslim Endowments and Al-Aqsa Affairs, told Anadolu Agency that – despite the Israeli restrictions – some 350,000 Palestinian worshipers had prayed at the iconic mosque for Laylat al-Qadr.

The Israeli authorities also allowed some 800 Palestinian Muslims from the blockaded Gaza Strip to mark the occasion at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

For Muslims, East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque represents the world’s third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the unified capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.

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