World Bulletin/News Desk
On Saturday, Iran condemned Israel's restrictions on access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem, amid tension in the holy city following the shooting of a far-right Jewish rabbi.
Israel closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Thursday, shortly after the shooting of an extremist Jewish rabbi in Jerusalem.
Israeli authorities reopened Al-Aqsa on Friday following a day of violent clashes with Palestinian protesters, but barred male worshippers under 50 years old from entering the religious site.
"We are condemning Israeli police who attacked the supporters of Al-Aqsa," according to the statement from Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham.
The statement also asked Islamic and regional countries not to remain silent over Israel's restrictions on access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Several Palestinians were injured in the occupied West Bank on Friday when Israeli forces dispersed rallies staged in solidarity with East Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the Islam's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.
In September 2000, a visit to the site by controversial Israeli politician Ariel Sharon sparked what later became known as the "Second Intifada," a popular uprising against the Israeli occupation in which thousands of Palestinians were killed.
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