Hamas yesterday condemned Israeli restrictions imposed on the entry of Palestinian worshippers to Al-Aqsa Mosque during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
In a statement, Hamas Spokesman for Jerusalem Affairs, Mohammad Hamada, said: "The restrictions declared by the Israeli occupation army, which mean that the entry of Palestinians within certain ages is subject to permits and security clearance, amount to flagrant violations of their natural right to freedom of worship."
He also said imposing such restrictions "is considered a flagrant interference in the affairs of the Islamic holy sites."He called on Palestinians to increase their presence at Al-Aqsa Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan and to defend it against the Israeli army and settler attacks.
Israeli occupation authorities have announced a series of restrictions on Palestinians duringthe holy month of Ramadan with regard to entry to Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as with regardto the movement of Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
"Women of all ages, male children up to 12 years old, and men over 55 years old will be allowed to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan without a permit," the coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Major General Ghassan Alyan, said in a statement on Monday.
Israel will "impose a permit on men from 45 to 55 years old," he added.
With regard to the Gaza Strip, according to the statement, Israel imposed a "limited quota" for women aged 50 and over, and men aged 55 or over, from Sunday to Thursday, to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
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