The Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, the third holiest site in Islam, will reopen next week after the conclusion of a major holiday, following weeks of closure aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus, authorities said Tuesday.
The mosque sits atop the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism and the location of the two Jewish Biblical temples.
The Islamic endowment overseeing the site under Jordanian custodianship (Waqf) had taken the unprecedented step of closing it to worshippers in March as other major holy sites were shuttered across the Middle East.
Waqf officials said that "in light of the relative decline of the spread of the virus" it would reopen the site to worshippers after the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which will begin this weekend and last for three days.
"A mechanism and procedures regarding lifting the suspension" will be announced later, it added.
The raised esplanade is home to the Al-Aqsa mosque and the iconic golden Dome of the Rock.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority imposed sweeping lockdowns in mid-March aimed at containing the virus, limiting travel and public gatherings, and forcing nonessential businesses to close.
Many of the restrictions have been lifted in recent weeks as the rate of new infections has declined.
Israel has reported more than 16,600 cases and around 270 deaths, with more than 13,000 of the patients having recovered. The Palestinian Authority has reported around 390 cases and two fatalities, with around 340 people having recovered.