Coronavirus: reopening of the Esplanade of Mosques in Jerusalem
Devotees pray at the complex housing the al-Aqsa Mosque, after it reopened to devotees after a closure of two and a half months due to the Covid-19 pandemic on May 31, 2020. REUTERS / Ammar Awad
Text by: Michel Paul
The mosques of Jerusalem and mainly al-Aqsa, which had been closed since March 15, reopened on Sunday May 31. This particularly sensitive place on the esplanade of the Mosques is administered by the Waqf of Jerusalem, an organization which for historical reasons depends on Jordan.
From our correspondent in Jerusalem,
“ By spirit and blood we will save al-Aqsa. Allahou Akbar (God is great) ", exclaimed the thousands of faithful who set off this Sunday, May 31 at dawn for the Fajr, the morning prayer on the Esplanade of the mosques, now reopened after more than two months closing .
For his part, Sheikh Omar, the director of the al-Aqsa mosque , the third holiest site in Islam, is confident because all the precautionary measures have been taken. " The mosque will not close again. Life will resume its normal course in coexistence with the virus. Inshallah! ", did he declare.
" Today is the first day of reopening and there were a lot of people ."
However, some of the faithful preferred to wait until midday to avoid the jostling at the entrance to the esplanade. " It is a great feeling of course !" All the mosques are open again. It's great. I think it was a good decision to close all the mosques. Today is the first day of reopening and there were a lot of people. Everyone with masks, ”said one of them.
An emotion accompanied by renewed tension after the death on Saturday May 30 of Iyad Elhalak , a 32-year-old Palestinian man suffering from autism who was killed by border guards who thought he was armed, close to one of the entrances to the Esplanade of the Mosques.
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