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In pictures: Thousands pray at Al-Aqsa on first day of Eid al-Adha

Sept. 1, 2017 6:45 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 2, 2017 4:34 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Thousands of Palestinians performed prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday, marking the first day of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, or “Feast of Sacrifice.”

Palestinian Muslims arrived early on Friday to Al-Aqsa from across occupied East Jerusalem and Israel to perform prayers, while Muslims from abroad also came to the holy site to pray during the holiday.

Hundreds of families congregated at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the third holiest site in Islam, while several clowns toured the holy site and organized activities with the children.

Eid al-Adha is meant to commemorate Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his adult son after being commanded to by God. However, just as he was about to sacrifice his son, an angel appeared and provided him with a ram to sacrifice instead.

Traditionally, Muslims around the world sacrifice a goat or sheep in order to commemorate the incident.

While Palestinian Jerusalemites and those with Israeli citizenship are typically able to access the site freely -- albeit Israel routinely imposes restrictions on individuals and certain Palestinian communities from entering, Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip must apply for an Israeli permit in order to visit the holy site.

Many Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have never been able to visit Al-Aqsa Mosque owing to Israeli movement restrictions.
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