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Al-Aqsa reopened amid tension, but Israel restricts access
Friday October 31, 2014 4:42 PM, Agencies

Israeli police imposed fresh restrictions on access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem on Friday, amid tension in the holy city following the shooting of a far-right Jewish rabbi and consequent killing of a Palestinian man.

Al Aqsa Mosque

Entry was restricted to men over 50.

"Only male worshippers aged 50 and above and women of all ages were allowed into the holy site," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Anadolu Agency by phone.

Police said that the age limit is part of security measures to prevent disturbance on the site.

Israeli police were seen deployed in Jerusalem's Old City and at the Aqsa Mosque gates since early morning.

Tension mounted in East Jerusalem since Wednesday, when Israeli police killed Mo'taz Hijazi, a Palestinian for allegedly shooting extremist Jewish rabbi Yehuda Glick in Jerusalem.

Hijazi, 32, was shot after opening fire when police surrounded his home.

He was suspected of having attacked Rabbi Glek Lilla as he left a conference on Jewish claims to the Jerusalem holy site, and is a well-known campaigner for the right of Jews to pray at the site, which is currently prohibited.

On Thursday night, hundreds of people gathered for the funeral of Hijazi amid a heavy police presence. The burial passed off without incident, police said.

Israel closed the holy site shortly after Glick was seriously injured in the drive-by shooting, triggering clashes with Palestinian protesters in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The Palestinian Authority, for its part, described Israel's closure of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound as a "declaration of war" against the Palestinian people.

Israeli police announced that the holy site will reopen following a day of violence, which left more than 20 Palestinians injured.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.

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