OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israel’s law-and-order chief said some Muslims would be denied entry to Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa Mosque compound on Friday when Palestinians begin mourning the creation of Israel.
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch told public radio Thursday that security personnel would “thin out the number of worshippers at the Temple Mount” – the Hebrew term for the compound inside the walled Old City which houses the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.
Israeli security spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed that some restrictions would be in force during the Friday prayers but he was not immediately able to give details.
The move to limit access to what is the third holiest site in Islam after Mecca and Medina, came as the Palestinians were poised to begin a series of marches and demonstrations in the run up to Nakba Day, which will be commemorated on Sunday.
Activists behind a website called “The Third Intifada” have also called for a new uprising, which would see thousands of Palestinian refugees march towards homes which they fled from or were forced out of when Israel was created in 1948 on Palestinian land.
Palestinian refugees are expected to stage rallies and demonstrations in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.