JERUSALEM

Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque will reopen to worshippers from May 31 after staying closed for more than two months due to the coronavirus pandemic, the authority responsible for overseeing the city’s holy sites said on Wednesday. 

Preventive measures will be taken at the entrance of the mosque, Sheikh Omar Al-Kiswani, the director of Al-Aqsa Mosque, announced after a meeting held by the Jordan-run Islamic Waqf Department to discuss the latest measures regarding the mosque.

Meanwhile, authorities will not impose any limit on the number of people allowed to pray inside the mosque.

The mosque was closed off to all worshippers late March amid the novel coronavirus outbreak in Palestinian territories.

As of Wednesday, Palestine recorded a total of 613 coronavirus cases, including five deaths.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the Temple Mount, claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz from Ankara

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