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Jerusalem - Israeli Police Tighten Security to Avoid Unrest

Published on: February 4, 2011 07:33 AM
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Muslim worshippers pray at Damascus Gate outside Jerusalem's Old City February 4, 2011. Israel had informed Muslim worshippers that access to the compound known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif, and to Jews as Temple Mount, would be limited on Friday due to security concerns. REUTERS/Ammar Awad Muslim worshippers pray at Damascus Gate outside Jerusalem's Old City February 4, 2011. Israel had informed Muslim worshippers that access to the compound known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif, and to Jews as Temple Mount, would be limited on Friday due to security concerns. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Jerusalem - Israeli police deployed in larger numbers in East Jerusalem and imposed restrictions on the entry of worshippers to Jewish, Muslim and Christian religious sites in a bid to prevent unrest

“After an evaluation this morning, it was decided to reinforce (deployment) in Jerusalem, in light of the events of the past week-and-a-half in Egypt,” police spokesman Rosenfeld told the German Press Agency dpa.

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“Our goal is avoid disturbances that could erupt after the Friday prayers ... in connection with the ongoing events taking place in Egypt.”

Several hundred extra police officers were on patrol around the Old City’s Harem al-Sharif/Temple Mount compound, which houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the ruins of the Jewish Biblical Temple, and elsewhere in East Jerusalem.

Only Muslim women and men aged 50 or older would be allowed access to the mosque. Restrictions applied to Jews were also.

Israeli police often impose age restrictions on entry to the Temple Mount, whenever they have information of possible violence or unrest. Police have on several occasions stormed the outdoor plateau on which al-Aqsa Mosque stands, after clashes between Muslim and Jewish worshippers.

The second Palestinian Intifada (uprising) against Israel erupted in late 2000 with unrest at the sensitive site, sparked by a visit to the compound by then opposition leader Ariel Sharon.



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