In a statement published on Thursday, Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, the Jordan-appointed council that oversees Islamic sites on the sacred compound announced the closure of al-Aqsa compound during Ramadan.

The council has described the decision as ‘painful’.

The council said the move was “in line with legal fatwas [clerical opinions] and medical advice”.

Muslims should “perform prayers in their homes during the month of Ramadan, to preserve their safety”, the council said.

The adhan will still be called five times daily and religious workers would be allowed entry into the site.

Masjid al-Aqsa attracts thousands of worshippers daily the adjoining Dome of the Rock for evening prayers known as Taraweeh.

Muslims believe the site to be where the Prophet Mohammad ascended to heaven.


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