Israel’s Health Ministry has called on the Jordanian Waqf to limit the amount of Muslim worshipers during Friday’s prayers on the Temple Mount. The warning was issued out of fear of a potential coronavirus outbreak reports Kan News.
In response to the spread of the coronavirus in Israel, the Health Ministry banned gatherings of more than 5,000 people. The Waqf refused to heed to the ministry’s request which involved ensuring that the crowd of Muslim worshipers will not exceed 5,000 people.
Waqf officials told Kan that they will not comply with Israel’s request for two reasons. One is their claim that Israel “does not have the authority to limit the amount of worshipers on the holy site”. Additionally, the Waqf threatened “disastrous” ramifications if such a decision is made.
Tens of thousands of Muslim worshipers are expected to attend services on Friday at the Temple Mount.
The Waqf did respond to the clear and imminent threat, publishing special instructions for those coming to the prayers, including to wash their hands with soap and to only sneeze into a tissue or into the elbow, and to seek immediate medical attention if they feel ill during the service.
A report on Channel 12 said the entry of thousands of Palestinian workers into Israel from Gaza and the Palestinian Authority supervised areas would continue normally.