Muslims in the Arab world mark the beginning of Eid al-Adha


Muslims in the Arab world on Tuesday were the first day of the four-day Eid al-Adha holiday.

At the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem, tens of thousands of Palestinian Muslims carried out Eid prayers amid a heavy Israeli security presence.

Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for the Jordan-led Religious Endowments Authority, estimated the number of worshipers to be 100,000, many of whom, he said, were from the West Bank occupied by Israel and elsewhere in the Arab and Muslim world.

In a sermon delivered for Eid prayers, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the great mufti of Jerusalem, repeated the determination of the Palestinians to defend the Al-Aqsa against the [Israeli] occupation constant efforts to Judaize it ".

In the city of Ramallah in the West Bank, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said – in a short speech after the Eid prayer – that the Palestinian leaders continued to put Jerusalem "at the top of the list of priorities".

Hamdallah praised the warring Palestinian inhabitants of the city, who, he said, "steadfastly resist the plans of the [Israeli] occupation ".

"The Palestinian leadership remains committed … to establish an independent Palestinian state on borders from before 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital," he said.

In Gaza City, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh delivered an Eid sermon in which he predicted that the Israeli 11-year blockade of Gaza "would end" thanks to Palestinian resistance meetings that are still running in the Gaza-Israel buffer zone.

In Beirut the Lebanese grandmother-sage Amin al-Kurdi delivered an eid-sermon in which he called on Muslims everywhere to "always remember the cause of Al-Aqsa".

In Egypt, millions of Muslims carried out eid prayers in more than 5,000 public spaces around the country, while mosque imams in nearby Jordan delivered sermons on the sanctity of human life.

And in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, President Omar al-Bashir used the opportunity to incite rebelion groups – and opposition parties – to the political reconciliation process.

In comments broadcast on state television, al-Bashir offered amnesty to all members of armed rebel groups who volunteered to lay down their arms.

"This blessed occasion offers us a new opportunity to renew our commitment to a genuine national dialogue," he said.

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