- Title: Empty Jerusalem as Ramadan prayers banned at al-Aqsa mosque due to coronavirus
- Date: 24th April 2020
- Summary: JERUSALEM (APRIL 24, 2020) (REUTERS) EMPTY DAMASCUS GATE ON THE FIRST FRIDAY OF RAMADAN EMPTY ROUNDABOUT LEADING TO DAMASCUS GATE ISRAELI FORCES STANDING NEAR DAMASCUS GATE TWO MEN WEARING MASKS WALKING DOWN STAIRS OF DAMASCUS GATE, MAN SAYING (Arabic): "It is a sad Friday." SIGN NEAR DAMASCUS GATE READING (Arabic):" Today we keep distance and we will not say' May they rest in peace' #Ramadan_safe_and healthy" MEN WALKING IN EMPTY HALLWAYS OF OLD CITY OF JERUSALEM LOCK ON CLOSED SHOP (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SHOP OWNER, MOUSA ZUGHARY, SAYING: "The closure of al Aqsa mosque has lead to Jerusalem being empty of people and the reason is the coronavirus pandemic that has spread all over the world and in our area here. This pandemic has lead to closure to preserve health, has lead to commercial closure in Jerusalem which has lead to Jerusalem being empty, which is tragic. There are no people in Jerusalem at all. Jerusalem is completely empty." VARIOUS OF PIGEONS ON EMPTY SIDEWALK BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK (APRIL 24, 2020) (REUTERS) OUTSIDE OF CHECKPOINT INSIDE EMPTY CHECKPOINT SIGN READING (Hebrew, Arabic, English): "ENTRANCE" INSIDE EMPTY CHECKPOINT SIGN READING (Hebrew, Arabic, English): "WELCOME TO RACHEL'S TOMB CROSSING, HUMANITARIAN ENTRY LANE" EMPTY CHECKPOINT ENTRANCE EXTERIOR OF EMPTY CHECKPOINT RED CROSS ON ENTRY CLOSED CHECKPOINT
- Embargoed: 8th May 2020 08:38
- Keywords: Coronavirus closures Jerusalem Muslim worshippers Ramadan celebrations empty holy fasting month
- Location: JERUSALEM/ BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK
- City: JERUSALEM/ BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA002CAUPS1Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The old city of Jerusalem was empty as the holy fasting month of Ramadan started on Friday (April 24). Muslim worshippers are facing Ramadan celebrations without the usual large gatherings for prayers due to coronavirus closures.
Muslim clerics at Islam's third-holiest site have announced that Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound will be closed to Muslim worshippers throughout the holy fasting month.
Checkpoints in the West Bank, usually teeming with Palestinian worshippers wanting to attend Friday prayers during Ramadan, are completely empty this year.
Ramadan typically draws tens of thousands of Muslims daily to the mosque and the adjoining Dome of the Rock for evening prayers known as Taraweeh. Muslim faithful believe the site to be where the Prophet Mohammad ascended to heaven.
Worshippers will instead have to watch prayers from inside the mosque broadcast on television.
Jerusalem has sites sacred to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and all three religions have taken coronavirus precautions.
Last week, Jews marking Passover in Jerusalem and across Israel were required to stay at home and celebrate only with immediate family.
(Production: Mohammad abu Ganeyeh, Sinan abu Mayzer, Suheir Sheikh)
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