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Saturday August 14, 2010 04:02:40 PM, ummid.com News Desk
Israeli police announced Monday that it will restrict the entry of Palestinian worshipers from the West Bank into Jerusalem for Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan, which begins later this week »
Malegaon: The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine Sheikh Mohammed Hussein said that the Israeli restrictions prevented thousands of Palestinian worshipers from attending the first Friday prayer of Ramadan at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, Arab News Correspondent Mohammed Mar'i reports from Ramallah.
"Only around 40,000 worshipers succeeded in entering Jerusalem for the prayer. The Israeli police in Jerusalem confirmed the number", the leading Saudi daily quoted Hussein as saying.
It added that thousands of police and border patrol officers were stationed near Al-Aqsa Mosque, Old City and East Jerusalem, in order to prevent disturbances.
Police said they allowed Palestinian married men aged 50 and over and women aged 45 and over to enter Jerusalem.
Arabs inside Israel and those living in East Jerusalem do not face restrictions in visiting the mosque compound, the place where the Palestinian uprising began in 2000. But since then, Palestinians from the West Bank have had an increasingly difficult time entering Jerusalem. With occasional exceptions, Palestinians from the Gaza Strip cannot get permission to visit the city.
In a separate development, Israeli forces on Friday demolished five stores in the West Bank village of Izbet Al-Tabib, to the east of Qalqilyah.
Bayan Al-Tabib, the head of the village's council, said that Israeli bulldozers razed the stores under the pretext that the houses were built without license from the Israeli Civil Administration, a military department responsible for the coordination of civil affairs in the West Bank.
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