Large police presence in Jerusalem ahead of Friday prayers
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Large police presence in Jerusalem ahead of Friday prayers

For the first time in weeks, admission to the Temple Mount not restricted

Israeli police approach Palestinian protesters on the Temple Mount after weekly Friday prayer services, February 22, 2013. (photo credit: Sliman Khader/Flash90)
Israeli police approach Palestinian protesters on the Temple Mount after weekly Friday prayer services, February 22, 2013. (photo credit: Sliman Khader/Flash90)

Police beefed up their presence around Jerusalem’s Old City and parts of East Jerusalem on Friday, ahead of weekly mass prayers at the Temple Mount.

After several weeks of limited access for Muslims worshipers, authorities in the capital did not restrict admission to men over the age of 50 or 55 carrying Israeli ID cards. Police at times limit access to Islam’s third-holiest site, built on the remains of Judaism’s ancient Temple, when clashes are expected or feared. Women of all ages are generally not subject to restrictions.

In March, riots erupted in the Temple Mount compound after Friday prayers for two successive weeks. Worshipers emerged from prayers and threw rocks at security forces near the entrance to the compound. Rioters also threw Molotov cocktails at police from within the al-Aqsa Mosque.

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