After remaining closed for two months due to the coronavirus pandemic, the compound of the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, which is the third-holiest site in Islam after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, started welcoming worshippers from Sunday again.
Hundreds of people, many of whom wore protective masks, chanted “god is great” as they stood at the mosque’s wooden doors, while some kissed the ground, reports the BBC.
They were then greeted by mosque director Omar al-Kiswani, who thanked them for being patient.
The compound also houses the Dome of the Rock.
Prayers will be held in the open in marked sections, each holding up to 50 people, reports The Times of Israel.
The Al-Aqsa mosque is part of the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif compound, which is one of Islam’s holiest sites and the holiest site in Judaism.
The site is a source of religious and political tension between Israelis and Palestinians and a frequent flashpoint for violence.