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VIDEO: The journey to Al-Aqsa Mosque

MEE travels with Palestinians from the West Bank who, denied at Israeli checkpoints, find other paths to the sacred site in Jerusalem
'Of course, I prefer to enter legally, but they create such difficult obstacles,' said one of the travellers. (MEE/Oren Ziv/Yotam Ronen/Faiz Abu Rmeleh)

It's a daily struggle for Palestinians trying to get from the West Bank to Jerusalem - especially for Muslims who want to attend prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque on Fridays.

Held sacred by both Jews and Muslims, access for Muslims to al-Aqsa has regularly been limited to women and men over the age of 40 or 50, particularly during times of political tensions. Meanwhile tourists and Jews have been able to enter the compound on weekdays, escorted by police, and are prohibited from praying or performing religious ceremonies. 

For Palestinians living in the West Bank, though, even before trying to gain access to the Aqsa complex once in Jerusalem they struggle with the journey to the city, having to cross through Israeli checkpoints.

People start to line up early in the morning, but getting past the Israeli army - who use age, family background and security profiling to decide who crosses - can be difficult.

Those not allowed to pass, however, find other ways.

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