September 18, 2015 AFP Israeli police beefed up their numbers in Jerusalem Friday, barring young men from prayers at the Al Aqsa mosque site ahead of what Palestinian movement Hamas dubbed a ‘day of rage’.
Palestinian protesters have clashed with police at the sacred site for three days over this week’s Jewish new year in spite of international calls for calm.
‘In light of intelligence received indicating the intention of Arab youths to disturb the peace at Friday prayers on Temple Mount it was decided to limit the age of Muslim worshippers,’ said a police statement, using the Hebrew term for the hilltop sacred to both Jews and Muslims.
‘Men aged 40 and above and women of all ages will be permitted to enter for prayers,’ it said.
The measure is meant to deter the presence of Palestinian youths who are generally at the forefront of violent protests against what they see as increasing Israeli encroachment at the compound.
Hamas had called for a ‘day of rage’ to coincide with weekly Friday prayers.
Israeli authorities fear further trouble with the approach of more religious holidays. The Muslim feast of Eid al Adha coincides on Wednesday with the solemn Jewish fast of Yom Kippur.
Jews begin their seven-day Sukkot festival the following week, one of the holidays when more Israelis than usual are likely to visit the compound.
It is the most sacred site in Judaism, with Biblical tradition identifying it as the site of the first and second temples, destroyed by the Babylonians and the Romans.
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The Al-Aqsa Mosque is often the subject of various Global Muslim Brotherhood conspiracies theories involving alleged Israeli plots and plans to destroy the mosque.The GMBDW has been covering recent instances of incitement over the issue:
- We reported earlier this week on a statement issued by an “interfaith” coalition including the US Muslim Brotherhood that blamed Israel for recent violence at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
- We reported last week on a call by the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), headed by Youssef Qaradawi, for Palestinians to ‘Rescue al-Aqsa’ and rise up against Israel.
- We also reported reported last week that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood had issued a statement condemning what it called “an attack” by Israeli police Sunday on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
- At the end of last month, we reported that the country’s Internal Security minister had asked the Minister of Defense to urgently ban two organizations operating on the Temple Mount and funded by the Muslim Brotherhood in Israel (the charities were subsequently banned.