- Title: MIDEAST: Palestinians celebrate Eid al-Fitr in West Bank and Gaza
- Date: 31st August 2011
- Summary: JERUSALEM (AUGUST 30, 2011) (REUTERS) MUSLIMS ARRIVING AT THE AL AQSA COMPOUND AHEAD OF EID AL-FITR PRAYER ENTRANCE TO AL AQSA MOSQUE HUNDREDS OF MUSLIMS SITTING INSIDE MOSQUE VARIOUS OF PRAYER INSIDE MOSQUE MUSLIMS PRAYING IN FRONT OF THE DOME OF THE ROCK
- Embargoed: 15th September 2011 13:00
- Location: Jerusalem, Gaza, West bank
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Religion
- Reuters ID: LVAD2ZR716TBBOC6ID9FL18PIPRF
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Thousands of Palestinian Muslims led by political leaders celebrated Eid al-Fitr in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza early on Tuesday (August 30), just weeks before a Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations.
Worshippers flocked to the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem's Old City, Islam's third holiest site, before heading to graveyards at the ancient Muslim cemetery to pray for their loved ones- a tradition on the morning of Eid.
In the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, thousands attended a public prayer led by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.
Haniyeh told worshippers that the 'Arab Spring' will benefit Palestinians and harm 'the occupation', a reference to the state of Israel. Haniyeh also voiced hope the revolution forces in the Arab world "will bring down the rest of tyrants" without mentioning specific names.
"God willing the future Eids we will be in the courtyard of the holy al-Aqsa mosque in liberated Jerusalem and in Palestine, in all of Palestine," Haniyeh told worshippers.
In the West Bank city of Ramallah, worshippers gathered at the presidential compound for morning Eid prayers and President Mahmoud Abbas laid a wreath on the grave of the late President Yasser Arafat.
In remarks to reporters following prayers, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said the national ambition is to establish an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
"This national project of ours is destined to get us to where we really want to be, in short order, Inshallah. To be able to live as free people in a country of our own, in all the territories occupied in 1967. Gaza Strip, West Bank, with East Jerusalem as its capital. That's what we are looking for," Fayyad said.
Eid al-Fitr, also known as the 'small holiday', marks the start of a three-day holiday as Muslims exchange gifts, visit family and friends at home, and throw elaborate feasts.
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