Old Jerusalem: Tensions escalate in Al-Aqsa Mosque and thousands of soldiers

Israel deployed thousands of soldiers in the streets of the Old City leading to Al-Aqsa Mosque. Many access to Palestinians was denied. Not even a tourist on the streets. The believers were forced to pray outside

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Exceptional security measures are in effect in East Jerusalem, where 2,500 police have been deployed to perform Friday prayers in the Old City. The number of worshipers in Al-Aqsa Mosque was unusually low. Activities are currently suspended.

“The situation is very difficult. There are closures and restrictions even on access to food, vegetables and meat. Everything is difficult, the prices are very high. The city is empty. Women, children and young people are forbidden from entering. How can I work?” Wadea Halawani, a local trader, feels desperate.

Even the tourists left the streets. The same is true for most Jews in the Old City. Palestinian residents say security checks continue. The tension increases as you approach Al-Aqsa Mosque. Soldiers monitor access, blocking several people.

Those who were prevented from entering the mosque prayed outside, and a Palestinian woman told Euronews: “They are brutal. You saw with your own eyes how they grabbed me and assaulted me to prevent me from entering.”

In the end, Friday prayers ended without any serious incidents. The streets of Old Jerusalem fell silent again. But tensions are rising. Many fear that the long-standing hostility between the Jewish and Arab communities may worsen.

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