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Palestinians, Israeli police clash after Friday prayers

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Palestinians and Israeli police clashed in and around Jerusalem after the conclusion of Friday prayers leading to the hospitalization of 20 persons.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported that at least 20 people were hospitalized for rubber bullet wounds and teargas inhalation.

Palestinians: clash with Israeli police after Friday prayers

Palestinians unable to enter Al-Aqsa mosque due to new security restrictions held the prayers nearby, outside the wall of the Old City.

Muslim men under the age of 50 were not allowed access on Friday to a contested Jerusalem holy site where the mosque is located, inside the Old City.

The area has been a scene of repeated attacks.

Palestinians also held prayers at West Bank military checkpoints bordering Jerusalem.

Once the prayers were over, police moved toward the crowds gathered in the East Jerusalem business district and at the checkpoints, showering them with volleys of tear gas grenades and rubber bullets.

Israeli police said the response was prompted by the Palestinian crowds attacking members of the police after the noon prayer.

NAN reports that Israel bolstered security in the Old City of Jerusalem on Friday and prepared for possible clashes with Muslim worshippers after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided metal detectors at a sensitive holy site would not be removed.

There have been daily confrontations between Palestinians hurling rocks and Israeli police using stun grenades since the detectors were placed at the entrance to the shrine, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, on Sunday, after the killing of two Israeli policemen.

Muslim leaders and Palestinian political factions have urged the faithful to gather for a “day of rage” against the new security policies, which they see as changing delicate agreements that have governed the holy site for decades.

The Israeli police said extra units had been mobilised to bolster security in the Old City, while Muslim access to the shrine for prayers would be limited to women of all ages and men over 50.

Roadblocks were in place on approach roads to Jerusalem to stop buses carrying Muslims to the site.

NAN

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