14:57 GMT16 July 2020
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    Israeli police said Friday they had barred male Muslims under the age of 50 from entering Jerusalem's Old City and Temple Mount for Friday prayers due to the threat of mass protests.

    TEL AVIV (Sputnik) – Israeli military expects Friday will become a culmination day for protests of local Palestinian communities against metal detectors installed at the entrances to the Temple Mount, which is the third holiest site in Islam, after a deadly shooting at the site.

    "In the light of the latest events, including the unrest near the Temple Mount gates and in various regions of the eastern Jerusalem as well as given the information on the extremists' intention to violate the law and pose threat to the peoples’ security… it was decided to allow access to the Old City and the Temple Mount only to men aged over 50 and women without age limits," the police said on Friday.

    Large police units were deployed in the areas of Jerusalem, where protests are most likely to be held, including the historical center and its surroundings.

    Metal detectors will remain installed at the entrances to the Temple Mount for Friday prayers in light of a last week's attack on Israeli police officers, Israeli police said.

    "The cabinet decided that the metal detectors will stay at the entrances to the Temple Mount … This is a cabinet decision and they approved the detectors," Police Spokeswoman Commander Merav Lapidot told Ynet media outlet in an interview.

    On July 14, two Israeli police officers died and another one was wounded after three armed assailants opened fire at the Temple Mount complex. Following the attack, the Israeli authorities decided to install metal detectors at the entrances to the Temple Mount and mount video cameras to monitor what is happening on its territory.

    The Islamic religious trust Waqf, which administers the Temple Mount, called on Muslims not to pass through the metal detectors installed by the Israeli police. Many Muslims have followed this call and started to pray on streets and clash with the police.

    Late on Thursday, the street prayer in Jerusalem resulted in clashes with the police which injured five police officers and up to 40 protesters, according to media reports.


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