250,000 worshipers perform the last Friday of Ramadan at Al-Aqsa Mosque 250,000 worshipers perform the last Friday of Ramadan at Al-Aqsa Mosque

250,000 worshipers perform the last Friday of Ramadan at Al-Aqsa Mosque

250,000 worshipers perform the last Friday of Ramadan at Al-Aqsa Mosque About 250,000 people held the fourth Friday prayer of the month of Ramadan at Al-Aqsa Mosque, amid strict Israeli security restrictions. The influx of worshipers to the mosque began since dawn prayer and continued until Friday prayers, and it is expected that tens of thousands of worshipers will remain in the mosque until Tarawih prayers.  About 250,000 people held the fourth Friday prayer of Ramadan in Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem, amid strict Israeli security restrictions.  The Islamic Endowments Department in Jerusalem said in a brief statement that "250,000 worshipers performed the fourth Friday prayer of the month of Ramadan at Al-Aqsa Mosque."  Israeli police officers deployed throughout occupied East Jerusalem, especially in the vicinity of the Old City and its alleys, and near the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque.  The Israeli police said in a statement Thursday that it is deploying 2,000 policemen in East Jerusalem, especially the Old City.  The Israeli police closed a number of streets in the vicinity of the Old City, as tens of thousands of Palestinians flocked to it.  The influx of worshipers into the mosque began before dawn prayer and continued until Friday prayers, while tens of thousands of worshipers are expected to remain in the mosque until Tarawih prayers.  Thousands of Palestinians observed i'tikaaf in the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Thursday evening, after performing the Isha and Tarawih prayers.  In a statement on Friday, the Israeli army estimated that more than 72,000 residents of the West Bank passed through Israeli checkpoints in the vicinity of Jerusalem, to perform Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque.   The army had previously announced, at the beginning of the month of Ramadan, that male Palestinians under the age of 55 in the West Bank were prevented from entering Jerusalem, and required that special permits be obtained for those between 45 and 55 years of age, while allowing women to enter, while preventing all residents of the Gaza Strip from reaching Al-Aqsa Mosque.  In his Friday sermon, Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, the preacher of Al-Aqsa Mosque, saluted the crowds of worshipers who marched to Al-Aqsa Mosque, and considered the crowd as a "message to the greedy and storming" of the mosque.  Al-Aqsa Mosque guards, scout teams, and regime committees have worked since the morning hours to prepare the mosque to receive worshipers and organize prayers.  Medical teams deployed in the courtyards of the mosque to provide assistance to the worshipers when needed, and the alleys of the Old City witnessed heavy traffic during the entry and exit of worshipers from Al-Aqsa Mosque.        Houthi group: We agreed with the Saudi delegation to communicate and continue the atmosphere of calm The official spokesman for the Houthis said that the group concluded a round of consultations with the Saudi negotiating delegation, in the presence of Omani mediation in the capital, Sana'a, in a positive atmosphere, during which it agreed with the Saudi delegation to "continue the calm and maintain communication" between them.  The Yemeni Houthi group said, on Friday, that it had agreed with the Saudi negotiating delegation to "continue the atmosphere of calm and maintain communication" between them.  This came in a statement by the official spokesman for the Houthis, Muhammad Abdulsalam, reported by the group's "Al-Masirah" satellite channel.  Abdulsalam said, "We finished a round of consultations with the Saudi delegation, in the presence of the Omani mediation in the capital, Sana'a. A positive and serious atmosphere prevailed."  He added, "We agreed to continue the atmosphere of calm, the withdrawn list with the armistice, and to keep communication in place."  He continued, "We had very difficult and intensive consultations that discussed thorny and intertwined issues in the humanitarian, military and political files, and we made progress in some files."  The Houthi spokesman pointed out that "other files have not been completed," and that "the Saudi negotiating delegation left Sana'a for further consultations."  As of 13:20 (GMT), there was no immediate comment from Riyadh regarding Abdel Salam's statements.  On Thursday evening, a Saudi delegation and an Omani delegation left the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, after a 6-day visit, during which they held talks with the Houthi group on ways to establish peace in the country, according to a political source familiar with the progress of the consultations, according to Anadolu Agency.  Yemen is suffering from a war that began after the Houthis took control of the capital, Sana'a, and several provinces at the end of 2014. The conflict has escalated since March 2015, after an Arab military coalition led by Saudi Arabia intervened to support the legitimate government forces, in the face of the Iranian-backed Houthi group.           The Yemeni government announces the completion of the "first phase" of the prisoner exchange process The Yemeni government announced, on Friday, the completion of the "first phase" of the prisoner exchange process with the Houthis, after two planes arrived at the airports of the capital, Sana'a, and Aden. The International Committee of the Red Cross announced that a process had begun between the two parties to the conflict in Yemen to release and exchange about 900 prisoners.  The Yemeni government announced, on Friday, the completion of the "first phase" of the prisoner exchange process with the Houthis, after two planes arrived at the airports of the capital, Sana'a, and Aden.  "A Red Cross plane arrived in Aden (south) carrying 35 government prisoners, coinciding with the arrival of another plane in Sana'a carrying 125 Houthi prisoners," said Majid Fadael, the spokesman for the government delegation to the negotiations on prisoners and abductees.  He explained, "With the arrival of the last two batches of prisoners in the exchange process, we will have completed the first phase, which included the release of 320 prisoners from both sides," referring to the resumption of the exchange process (the second phase) tomorrow, Saturday.  During the past hours, the Houthi group released 35 prisoners from the government, while the government side released 125 Houthi prisoners.  Earlier on Friday, the Yemeni government announced the launch of the first phase of the process of exchanging detainees with the Houthi group, under the joint auspices of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross.  The Yemeni government said, in a statement published by the official Saba agency, that "the first day of the prisoner exchange process witnessed the transfer and exchange of a number of detainees through Aden and Sana'a airports, including Major General Mahmoud al-Subaihi and Major General Nasser Mansour Hadi, who are covered by the UN Security Council resolution."  The government stated that it would "work on the second day to transfer and exchange another batch of detainees with the militias through (Abha, Sana'a, Riyadh and Mocha) airports," according to the statement.  The statement added that "the third and last day of this stage will be the exchange process through Sana'a and Tadween airports in Ma'rib governorate," noting that among the prisoners are "four journalists who are unjustly sentenced to death."  In April 2020, a court run by the Houthi group issued a death sentence against Yemeni journalists Tawfiq al-Mansouri, Akram al-Walidi, Abd al-Khaliq Omran and Harith Hamid, on charges of "collaboration with the Saudi-led Arab coalition in Yemen".  In its statement, the government affirmed, "The government team's commitment to launching the exchange process at the time specified by the International Committee of the Red Cross comes from a sense of national and moral responsibility."  Earlier, Friday, the spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross, Adnan Hizam, announced to Anadolu Agency that the process of implementing the prisoner exchange in Yemen had begun.  "It is a very wonderful moment for these former detainees to return to their families," he said, adding that the release of the prisoners is "a very important step in building the relationship between the parties to the conflict in Yemen."  On March 20, the government announced an agreement with Al-Houthi to release 887 prisoners and abductees from both sides, at the conclusion of consultations held in Switzerland in this regard.  In the context, a Red Cross plane arrived, on Friday, in the interim Yemeni capital, Aden, with former Defense Minister Major General Mahmoud Al-Subaihi on board, in conjunction with the arrival of 125 Houthis to Sana'a, as part of the prisoner exchange process between the government and the Houthi group.  A source told Anadolu Agency, "Major General Al-Subaihi arrived with Major General Nasser Mansour (brother of former Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi) and 35 prisoners of the legitimate government."   For his part, the Director General of Aden International Airport, Abdul Raqib Al-Omari, said, "A Yemenia Airways plane left Aden towards Sana'a, with 125 Houthi prisoners on board."  In turn, the Yemeni Houthi group said on Friday that the talks it held with the Saudi and Omani delegations this week "made progress in several files."  The head of the group's negotiating delegation, Mohamed Abdel Salam, wrote on Twitter, "The delegations finished the negotiation work in the capital, Sana'a, after serious and positive discussions."  He added that "negotiations made progress on a number of issues (which he did not mention)," and he hoped "to complete the research on the outstanding issues at a later time," without giving details.  Abdul Salam thanked the Sultanate of Oman for its efforts to "overcome difficulties and support the peace option."  On Thursday evening, the delegations of Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman left the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, after a 6-day visit, during which they held talks with the Houthi group on ways to establish peace in the country, according to Anadolu Agency, a political source familiar with the progress of the consultations.  Since Saturday evening, the two delegations have held talks with leaders of the Houthi group in Sana'a, which dealt with ways to extend the armistice and establish peace in Yemen.  Regional and international efforts are escalating to renew a 6-month truce that ended on October 2, and the government and the Houthis are exchanging accusations of responsibility for the failure to extend it.  Yemen is suffering from a war that began after the Houthis took control of the capital, Sana'a, and several provinces at the end of 2014. The conflict has escalated since March 2015, after an Arab military coalition led by Saudi Arabia intervened to support the legitimate government forces, in the face of the Iranian-backed Houthi group.

About 250,000 people held the fourth Friday prayer of the month of Ramadan at Al-Aqsa Mosque, amid strict Israeli security restrictions. The influx of worshipers to the mosque began since dawn prayer and continued until Friday prayers, and it is expected that tens of thousands of worshipers will remain in the mosque until Tarawih prayers.

About 250,000 people held the fourth Friday prayer of Ramadan in Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem, amid strict Israeli security restrictions.

The Islamic Endowments Department in Jerusalem said in a brief statement that "250,000 worshipers performed the fourth Friday prayer of the month of Ramadan at Al-Aqsa Mosque."

Israeli police officers deployed throughout occupied East Jerusalem, especially in the vicinity of the Old City and its alleys, and near the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Israeli police said in a statement Thursday that it is deploying 2,000 policemen in East Jerusalem, especially the Old City.

The Israeli police closed a number of streets in the vicinity of the Old City, as tens of thousands of Palestinians flocked to it.

The influx of worshipers into the mosque began before dawn prayer and continued until Friday prayers, while tens of thousands of worshipers are expected to remain in the mosque until Tarawih prayers.

Thousands of Palestinians observed i'tikaaf in the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Thursday evening, after performing the Isha and Tarawih prayers.

In a statement on Friday, the Israeli army estimated that more than 72,000 residents of the West Bank passed through Israeli checkpoints in the vicinity of Jerusalem, to perform Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque.


The army had previously announced, at the beginning of the month of Ramadan, that male Palestinians under the age of 55 in the West Bank were prevented from entering Jerusalem, and required that special permits be obtained for those between 45 and 55 years of age, while allowing women to enter, while preventing all residents of the Gaza Strip from reaching Al-Aqsa Mosque.

In his Friday sermon, Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, the preacher of Al-Aqsa Mosque, saluted the crowds of worshipers who marched to Al-Aqsa Mosque, and considered the crowd as a "message to the greedy and storming" of the mosque.

Al-Aqsa Mosque guards, scout teams, and regime committees have worked since the morning hours to prepare the mosque to receive worshipers and organize prayers.

Medical teams deployed in the courtyards of the mosque to provide assistance to the worshipers when needed, and the alleys of the Old City witnessed heavy traffic during the entry and exit of worshipers from Al-Aqsa Mosque.


Houthi group: We agreed with the Saudi delegation to communicate and continue the atmosphere of calm

The official spokesman for the Houthis said that the group concluded a round of consultations with the Saudi negotiating delegation, in the presence of Omani mediation in the capital, Sana'a, in a positive atmosphere, during which it agreed with the Saudi delegation to "continue the calm and maintain communication" between them.

The Yemeni Houthi group said, on Friday, that it had agreed with the Saudi negotiating delegation to "continue the atmosphere of calm and maintain communication" between them.

This came in a statement by the official spokesman for the Houthis, Muhammad Abdulsalam, reported by the group's "Al-Masirah" satellite channel.

Abdulsalam said, "We finished a round of consultations with the Saudi delegation, in the presence of the Omani mediation in the capital, Sana'a. A positive and serious atmosphere prevailed."

He added, "We agreed to continue the atmosphere of calm, the withdrawn list with the armistice, and to keep communication in place."

He continued, "We had very difficult and intensive consultations that discussed thorny and intertwined issues in the humanitarian, military and political files, and we made progress in some files."

The Houthi spokesman pointed out that "other files have not been completed," and that "the Saudi negotiating delegation left Sana'a for further consultations."

As of 13:20 (GMT), there was no immediate comment from Riyadh regarding Abdel Salam's statements.

On Thursday evening, a Saudi delegation and an Omani delegation left the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, after a 6-day visit, during which they held talks with the Houthi group on ways to establish peace in the country, according to a political source familiar with the progress of the consultations, according to Anadolu Agency.

Yemen is suffering from a war that began after the Houthis took control of the capital, Sana'a, and several provinces at the end of 2014. The conflict has escalated since March 2015, after an Arab military coalition led by Saudi Arabia intervened to support the legitimate government forces, in the face of the Iranian-backed Houthi group.


The Yemeni government announces the completion of the "first phase" of the prisoner exchange process

The Yemeni government announced, on Friday, the completion of the "first phase" of the prisoner exchange process with the Houthis, after two planes arrived at the airports of the capital, Sana'a, and Aden. The International Committee of the Red Cross announced that a process had begun between the two parties to the conflict in Yemen to release and exchange about 900 prisoners.

The Yemeni government announced, on Friday, the completion of the "first phase" of the prisoner exchange process with the Houthis, after two planes arrived at the airports of the capital, Sana'a, and Aden.

"A Red Cross plane arrived in Aden (south) carrying 35 government prisoners, coinciding with the arrival of another plane in Sana'a carrying 125 Houthi prisoners," said Majid Fadael, the spokesman for the government delegation to the negotiations on prisoners and abductees.

He explained, "With the arrival of the last two batches of prisoners in the exchange process, we will have completed the first phase, which included the release of 320 prisoners from both sides," referring to the resumption of the exchange process (the second phase) tomorrow, Saturday.

During the past hours, the Houthi group released 35 prisoners from the government, while the government side released 125 Houthi prisoners.

Earlier on Friday, the Yemeni government announced the launch of the first phase of the process of exchanging detainees with the Houthi group, under the joint auspices of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The Yemeni government said, in a statement published by the official Saba agency, that "the first day of the prisoner exchange process witnessed the transfer and exchange of a number of detainees through Aden and Sana'a airports, including Major General Mahmoud al-Subaihi and Major General Nasser Mansour Hadi, who are covered by the UN Security Council resolution."

The government stated that it would "work on the second day to transfer and exchange another batch of detainees with the militias through (Abha, Sana'a, Riyadh and Mocha) airports," according to the statement.

The statement added that "the third and last day of this stage will be the exchange process through Sana'a and Tadween airports in Ma'rib governorate," noting that among the prisoners are "four journalists who are unjustly sentenced to death."

In April 2020, a court run by the Houthi group issued a death sentence against Yemeni journalists Tawfiq al-Mansouri, Akram al-Walidi, Abd al-Khaliq Omran and Harith Hamid, on charges of "collaboration with the Saudi-led Arab coalition in Yemen".

In its statement, the government affirmed, "The government team's commitment to launching the exchange process at the time specified by the International Committee of the Red Cross comes from a sense of national and moral responsibility."

Earlier, Friday, the spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross, Adnan Hizam, announced to Anadolu Agency that the process of implementing the prisoner exchange in Yemen had begun.

"It is a very wonderful moment for these former detainees to return to their families," he said, adding that the release of the prisoners is "a very important step in building the relationship between the parties to the conflict in Yemen."

On March 20, the government announced an agreement with Al-Houthi to release 887 prisoners and abductees from both sides, at the conclusion of consultations held in Switzerland in this regard.

In the context, a Red Cross plane arrived, on Friday, in the interim Yemeni capital, Aden, with former Defense Minister Major General Mahmoud Al-Subaihi on board, in conjunction with the arrival of 125 Houthis to Sana'a, as part of the prisoner exchange process between the government and the Houthi group.

A source told Anadolu Agency, "Major General Al-Subaihi arrived with Major General Nasser Mansour (brother of former Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi) and 35 prisoners of the legitimate government."

For his part, the Director General of Aden International Airport, Abdul Raqib Al-Omari, said, "A Yemenia Airways plane left Aden towards Sana'a, with 125 Houthi prisoners on board."

In turn, the Yemeni Houthi group said on Friday that the talks it held with the Saudi and Omani delegations this week "made progress in several files."

The head of the group's negotiating delegation, Mohamed Abdel Salam, wrote on Twitter, "The delegations finished the negotiation work in the capital, Sana'a, after serious and positive discussions."

He added that "negotiations made progress on a number of issues (which he did not mention)," and he hoped "to complete the research on the outstanding issues at a later time," without giving details.

Abdul Salam thanked the Sultanate of Oman for its efforts to "overcome difficulties and support the peace option."

On Thursday evening, the delegations of Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman left the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, after a 6-day visit, during which they held talks with the Houthi group on ways to establish peace in the country, according to Anadolu Agency, a political source familiar with the progress of the consultations.

Since Saturday evening, the two delegations have held talks with leaders of the Houthi group in Sana'a, which dealt with ways to extend the armistice and establish peace in Yemen.

Regional and international efforts are escalating to renew a 6-month truce that ended on October 2, and the government and the Houthis are exchanging accusations of responsibility for the failure to extend it.

Yemen is suffering from a war that began after the Houthis took control of the capital, Sana'a, and several provinces at the end of 2014. The conflict has escalated since March 2015, after an Arab military coalition led by Saudi Arabia intervened to support the legitimate government forces, in the face of the Iranian-backed Houthi group.

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