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06:36, 20 June 2018 Wednesday
Update: 17:25, 28 February 2014 Friday

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Israeli army blocks worshippers from Al-Aqsa Mosque
Israeli army blocks worshippers from Al-Aqsa Mosque

The Israeli army has imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshippers into the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.

World Bulletin / News Desk

Thousands of Palestinian worshippers have failed to perform the weekly prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday due to Israeli restrictions in Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem).

Hundreds of Palestinian youths were forced to pray in the streets after they were denied access into the Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli forces, according to Anadolu Agency reporter.

Clashes then broke Israeli forces arrested three Palestinians following after Palestinian youths hurled stones at them in the Ras al-Amud neighborhood of East Jerusalem.

Israeli forces used teargas and stun grenades to disperse the youths.

Several Palestinians who suffered temporary asphyxiation were treated on the spot.

The Israeli army has imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshippers into the mosque, allowing only those over 50 into the worship place.

On Friday, Israeli authorities deployed hundreds of soldiers in Al-Quds and set up barricades at the entrances of the Old City.

Tension has been high in Al-Quds over plans by the Israeli Knesset (parliament) to hold a debate on imposing Israeli oversight on the holy sites in Al-Quds.

Jordan recently announced that it had decided to expel the Israeli ambassador to Amman in protest at violations on the holy site. Since the 1950s, the Hashemite Kingdom has administered and overseen all Muslim and Christian religious sites in the holy city.

A 1994 peace treaty between Amman and Tel Aviv recognized Jordan's special supervisory role over holy sites in Al-Quds.

The grand imam of Egypt's Al-Azhar University also slammed Israeli violations on the mosque as settlers seek to perform religious Jewish rituals in the courtyard, in which they have expressed their desire to rebuild an ancient temple.

The Arab League also slammed Israel's violations in an emergency meeting this week.

Jordanians protest

Dozens of Jordanians staged anti-government rallies on Friday to decry proposed legislation in the Knesset (Israel's parliament) that would establish Israeli oversight on Islamic sites in Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem).

Protesters gathered in central Amman on Friday afternoon and chanted against Israel, the Jordanian government and other Arab regimes for the latter's "silence over ongoing violations by Israeli extremists against [Muslim] holy sites."

A group of pro-government protesters staged a counter-demonstration nearby, chanting in support of King Abdullah II's position on the Palestinian cause and accusing rival demonstrators of being "traitors."

Jordan's relations with Israel have been strained over recent proposals in the Knesset to put holy sites in Al-Quds under Israeli supervision.

"Today's demonstration is a message to the Israeli government that the free people of Jordan won't remain silent about the desecration of [Muslim] holy sites and the shameful Arab response," Mohamed al-Houri, an anti-government protester, told Anadolu Agency.

Funeral clashes

In another incident five Palestinians were shot and injured in Friday clashes with Israeli troops near the West Bank town of Birzeit near Ramallah, where Palestinians had been holding a funeral for a 25-year-old man killed one day earlier in an Israeli raid on his home.

Palestinian medics told Anadolu Agency that they had transferred four Palestinians that had sustained gunshot wounds to the leg to the Ramallah Medical Complex during clashes near an Israeli checkpoint.

Fierce clashes remain ongoing near Birzeit, with Israeli troops using teargas, rubber bullets and live ammunition to disperse stone-throwing Palestinians angered by Thursday's killing of local resident Motaz Washaha.

A fifth Palestinian was similarly injured in clashes near the entrance of the West Bank's Jalazone refugee camp, while others suffered temporary asphyxiation due to the copious use of teargas by Israeli troops.

Washaha was found dead on Thursday after Israeli troops withdrew from his home, which they had besieged for several hours after its inhabitants had refused to open their doors.

Israeli authorities partially demolished the house in order to enter it and arrested three people, eyewitnesses said.

Israeli forces routinely conduct raids in the West Bank on the pretext that they are looking for "wanted" Palestinians.



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