09/24/2010, 00.00
ISRAEL - PALESTINE
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Jerusalem: access to Temple Mount blocked

The ban applies to Muslim men under the age of 50. The block is to prevent further violent demonstrations in the Arab neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, after protests over the killing of a Palestinian by an Israeli security guard.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Israeli police this morning blocked access to the Temple Mount mosques for the Muslim male faithful under 50, for fear of unrest ahead of Friday prayers.

The block was announced last night, after violent recent demonstrations in the Arab neighbourhood of East Jerusalem. The riots were caused by the killing of a Palestinian Sept. 22 by Israeli security officers guarding Jewish settlers. The killing took place in the neighbourhood of Silwan, East Jerusalem.

The closure of the Temple Mount – the third holiest site for Islam – is the latest in a series of closures, including all West Bank crossings imposed by the Israeli army from 22 to 30 September, for the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. For years ahead of the traditional festivals Israel has closed crossings with Palestinian territories for fear of attacks.
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