Citing intelligence alerts over possible Palestinian disturbances at the Temple Mount, the Jerusalem Police announced late Thursday that they will be imposing restrictions on Muslim entrance to the holy site on Friday.
All Arab men under the age of 45 will be barred from Friday midday prayers due to security concerns, police said, with only those older than 45 who hold Israeli ID cards allowed into the ancient compound. Women of any age will be allowed.
The police restrictions come after weeklong escalating tensions in the wake of the abduction of IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit on Sunday.
Police sporadically close off the bitterly contested Jerusalem holy site to young male Arabs on Fridays during times of high tension or in the wake of multiple alerts over possible violence at the compound.