About 200,000 participated Wednesday night in the Laylat al-Qadr celebrations on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City, the largest religious event on the city's religious calendar.
The police estimated that at least 160,000 people gathered in the mosque complex on the Temple Mount, known in Arabic as the Haram al-Sharif. Tens of thousands more, including many families, spent the night wandering, shopping and enjoying in the streets of the Old City and its surroundings.
Among the worshipers were tens of thousands who came from the West Bank and received special permits to enter Israel. Thousands of others had simply jumped over the separation barrier outside Jerusalem and entered the Old City without permits, said worshipers.
The Jerusalem police were pleased to report that no exceptional incidents occurred to mar the events.
Laylat al-Qadr, known as the Night of Power or Night of Destiny, is considered the holiest night of the year for Muslims, most of whom celebrate it on the night before the 27th day of the month of Ramadan, the day on which the Koran was first revealed to Mohammed. The night is considered to be especially propitious – sins are forgiven and supplications accepted for those who pray and study at night.