Tensions high as Israel police bar men under 50 from Friday prayers at Al Aqsa mosque

Israeli security forces stand at the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, after Israel removed all security measures it had installed at the compound, and Palestinians entered the compound in Jerusalem's Old City July 27, 2017. REUTERS/Muammar Awad

Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 28 July 2017| 04 Zhul Qadha 1438

Israeli police braced for fresh violence Friday ahead of main weekly Muslim prayers at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque, barring men under 50 after clashes erupted as Palestinians ended a boycott of the mosque’s Noble Sanctuary compound.

Tensions at the compound were high even after thousands of worshipers returned to the site, following a two-week boycott over new security measures that Israel eventually removed.

Friday prayers typically draw thousands to al-Aqsa, and police said there were “indications that disturbances and demonstrations will take place today”.

“Only men over the age of 50 will be permitted,” a police statement said. No restrictions will be imposed on women.

“A number of roads around the Old City will be limited to access and all necessary security measures are being taken to prevent and to respond to any outbreak of violence,” police said.

About 200 Israeli police were inside the Noble Sanctuary on Thursday night, removing Palestinians who had stayed inside as clashes raged. Some were arrested or injured, and Israeli forces prevented medical access.

Source – MEE