Gulf Today|June 01, 2020
Tens of thousands of mosques across Saudi Arabia reopened on Sunday for the first time in more than two months, with worshipers ordered to follow strict guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as Islam’s holiest site in Makkah remained closed to the public.
The Al Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem, Islam’s holiest site outside of Saudi Arabia, also reopened for prayers for the first time since it was closed in mid-March.
With little regards for social distancing, throngs waited outside the holy site’s gates before it opened early on Sunday, with many wearing surgical masks. As they were allowed to enter, the faithful stopped to have their temperature measured.
The mosque was one of Jerusalem’s many holy sites, including the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Western Wall, that were restricted to worshipers at the height of Israel’s coronavirus outbreak. Throughout that period, worshipers continued to pray in the alleyways outside the mosque.
Jews also resumed their pilgrimages on Sunday to the hilltop compound they revere as the Temple Mount, site of the two Jewish biblical temples.
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June 01, 2020