Palestinians celebrate Eid al-Adha amid Israeli restrictions
More than 150,000 Palestinian Muslims gathered for Eid Al-Adha prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in occupied east Jerusalem on Saturday.
The worshippers performed the prayers to commemorate the revered day in defiance of Israeli restrictions that are regularly imposed on the mosque and its compound, which is considered the third holiest site in Islam.
More than 150,000 worshipers performed Eid al-Adha prayer in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa mosque despite the Israeli restrictions. pic.twitter.com/Bf1f8ZrTFt— TIMES OF GAZA (@Timesofgaza) July 9, 2022
Worshipers flocked to the mosque since the dawn prayer, chanting the Eid 'takbeer' as they entered and exited its doors, according to the Turkish Anadolu Agency.
Attendees distributed the holiday's signature Eid sweets at the mosque’s doors, while young people distributed Eid gifts to children and their families.
However, Israeli forces were still deployed to Al-Aqsa courtyard and other locations in the vicinity of the Old City of Jerusalem, according to the Palestinian Wafa agency.
The forces stopped a number of Palestinians - particularly young men - checking their IDs and even prohibiting some from entering.
Meanwhile, around 3,000 worshippers attended Eid prayers at Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque, amid heavy patrolling from Israeli forces in the southern West Bank city.
Hafzi Abu Sneina told Anadolu Agency that Israeli checks on Palestinian identification cards hindered a number of worshippers, who were subsequently late to prayers.
The Ibrahimi mosque is the subject of a strict division between Muslim and Jewish worshippers, following the aftermath of the 1994 massacre carried out by an Israeli settler, who killed 29 Muslim worshipers and injured more than 100.
Hebron is very much controlled by Israeli authorities and settlers, numbering at around 850, who provide a hostile an environment for the city’s native Palestinian population.
The Ibrahimi Mosque is Palestine’s second holiest site, and the fourth in the Islamic world.
In the besieged Gaza Strip, Palestinians also flocked to perform Eid al-Adha prayers, particularly in Gaza City, which has been under a 15-year-long blockade, depriving more than two million residents of travel opportunities, whether for economic, educational and medical reasons.
The Eid al-Adha festival is being marked throughout the Muslim world, with families slaughtering livestock, eating, gathering with their loved ones and prayer. However, much of the Muslim world is celebrating under hardships exacerbated by soaring inflation and food prices due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, prompting the former.
Eid al-Adha commemorates the Quranic story of the Prophet Abrahim’s readiness to sacrifice his son Ismail as an act of obedience to God. Before he could carry out the sacrifice, God provided a ram as an offering instead.