100-year-old Palestinian woman overcomes Israeli roadblocks to make Ramadan prayers at Al-Aqsa
A 100-year-old Palestinian woman has overcome medical issues and Israeli roadblocks to pray at Al-Aqsa mosque last week.
Centenarian Hajjah Halimah joined over 80,000 worshippers at the Jerusalem mosque - the third holiest site in Islam - for the first Friday prayers of Ramadan.
The Hebron resident, who was born 28 years before the state of Israel was established, was pictured smiling and in her wheelchair as she made her way to the mosque in the heart of Jerusalem surrounded by wellwishers.
Hajjah Halimah, who cannot walk, set off early on Friday for the mosque and arrived by noon in time for Friday prayers.
Hajjah Halimah is 100 years old. She travelled all the way from Hebron to pray the first Jumm'ah of Ramadan at Masjid al-Aqsa. pic.twitter.com/lXZr9dzjg8— Ansam Hamad🇵🇸 (@ansam_hamad1) April 10, 2022
She managed this feat despite Israeli police and security forces shutting down access to the old city of Jerusalem, forcing worshipers to navigate far longer routes to reach the holy site.
Friday prayers during Ramadan can draw crowds of over 200,000 at Al-Aqsa, although Israel routinely tries to restrict worshippers' access to the site.
Other Palestinians who were blocked entry to Jerusalem by Israeli forces prayed at checkpoints in the occupied West Bank.
Last Ramadan saw Israeli forces violently crush peaceful Palestinian protests and prayer gatherings at the holy site.
It came after several families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem faced forced displacement, as settlers tried to take over their homes.
The violent response to the protests saw Gaza-based Hamas fire rockets into Israel, which responded with devastating airstrikes onthe besieged encalve, killing 250 Palestinians including dozens of children.
Israel invaded East Jerusalem and the West Bank in a 1967 war and has continued to illegally occupy the Palestinian territories ever since.
Palestinians in the West Bank face intimidation and violence from settlers, along with Israeli forces.