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Heavy Israeli police presence in Jerusalem

February 28, 2014 at 11:38 am

Israeli police imposed strict restrictions over Muslim worshippers coming to pray Friday at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israeli sources said that men holding Jerusalemite or Israeli identity cards (blue cards) who are over fifty and women with the same ID cards who are over 45 will be permitted to enter the old city and holy sanctuary. Young men and women will be turned away, West Bank Palestinians are strictly prohibited from the area.

The measures come as Palestinians continue to commemorate the start of the Second Intifada (Al-Aqsa Intifada), sparked by a provocative visit to the holy mosque by then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and kicked off by a series of uprisings against Israeli police mostly by Jerusalem residents in October 2000.

Palestinians across the West Bank and East Jerusalem are commemorating the death of friends and family members, killed by Israeli police and soldiers this month. An inquiry by Israeli officials following the bloodies month of the uprising, found police used excessive force to disperse crowds, which resulted in unnecessary deaths.