- Title: Friday prayers held outdoors in Jerusalem amid COVID-19 lockdown
- Date: 22nd May 2020
- Summary: VARIOUS OF OF WORSHIPPERS PRAYING NEAR AL-AQSA MOSQUE DOOR
- Embargoed: 5th June 2020 14:23
- Keywords: Al-Aqsa mosque Friday prayers Gaza Jerusalem Ramadan coronavirus mosques
- Location: QALANDIA REFUGEE CAMP, WEST BANK / JERUSALEM / GAZA CITY, GAZA
- City: QALANDIA REFUGEE CAMP, WEST BANK / JERUSALEM / GAZA CITY, GAZA
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA002CF0JEIV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Muslims across the Palestinian territories and in east Jerusalem prayed under social distancing restrictions on the last Friday of Ramadan (May 22), with the al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem's Old City closed due to measures aimed at curbing the coronavirus pandemic.
During Ramadan, Muslims the world over join their families to break the fast at sunset and go to mosques to pray. But the pandemic has suspended centuries-old traditions, with curbs on large gatherings for prayers and public iftars, or meals to break the fast.
Ramadan typically draws tens of thousands of Muslims daily to the mosque and the adjoining Dome of the Rock. Worshippers will instead have to watch prayers on television.
In the past few years, tens of thousands of Palestinian worshippers prayed at Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque on the last Friday of the holy month.
In Qalandia refugee camp, a handful of worshippers in face masks, kept several feet apart to comply with coronavirus restrictions; holding friday prayers on a soccer pitch.
Mosques in Gaza were reopened for Friday prayers, according to the Hamas-led ministry of religious affairs. The ministry made a series of conditions that must be adhered to by worshippers and those in charge of mosques across Gaza. Worshippers must bring their own prayer mats, must also wear face masks the entire time inside the mosque and a ban on shaking hands is enforced. While many worshippers abided by the rules, some were seen to be praying without face masks inside one mosque.
The Palestinian Authority has recorded two deaths and 423 infections.
(Production: Sinan Abu Meyzar, Illan Rosenberg, Ismail Khadder, Arafat Barbakh, Roleen Tafakji)
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