The Israeli occupation police at dawn Thursday brutalized and assaulted Palestinian citizens as they flocked to the Aqsa Mosque’s closed gates to perform Fajr prayers.
Palestinian worshipers reported that police officers behind barriers at the Mosque’s gates shoved them and other citizens as they gathered to perform the Fajr prayers outside the holy site and threatened to make them pay exorbitant fines if they insisted on congregating for prayers.
Police officers also tried to seize the IDs of Palestinian citizens before allowing them into the Aqsa Mosque in order to identify them and fine them later if they gathered in large crowds. However, many worshipers refused to hand over their cards and preferred to pray at the Mosque’s gates to avoid paying penalties.
The Israeli police have been shutting most of the Aqsa Mosque’s doors and imposing entry and gathering restrictions on Muslim worshipers for some days now at the pretext of fighting the spread of coronavirus while flagrantly allowing Jewish settlers to defile the Islamic holy site in groups through al-Maghariba Gate.
A few days ago, Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, director of the Aqsa Mosque, decided to shut down the holy site’s enclosed prayer buildings after having them sanitized and called on Muslim worshipers to perform their prayers in the courtyards.
Accordingly, Muslim worshipers have showed keenness on praying only in the Mosque’s courtyards and avoid gathering in large crowds in response to Sheikh Kiswani’s temporary coronavirus countermeasures.
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