The Waqf claimed that approximately 70,000 Muslims attended the first Friday prayers of Ramadan on the Temple Mount.
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Israel’s military body that administers the West Bank, issued permits for 10,000 Palestinians to enter Jerusalem from Judea and Samaria for prayers on the condition they were vaccinated. Though Israel has had a successful program, the Palestinian Authority has been slow to vaccinate its citizens.
“The measures are being taken to allow freedom of worship and religion on one hand, and on the other hand, prevent to the extent possible the spread of COVID-19 in the region,” said a statement from COGAT.
Last year, Muslims were not permitted to enter the site due to pandemic health restrictions.
The Friday prayers were preceded by three consecutive nights of Arab rioting in the eastern sections of Jerusalem in which at least two police officers and five civilians were hurt. Rioters threw rocks, bottles, and firecrackers at police and passersby. One young Arab woman was killed after being caught in a firefight between two feuding families.