Citing intelligence alerts over likely Palestinian disturbances at the Temple Mount after Friday prayers in the wake of European newspaper cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, Jerusalem police announced Thursday that they would be imposing restrictions on Muslim
entrance to the holy site on Friday.
For the second time in as many weeks, all Arab men under the age of 45 will be barred from the midday prayers due to security concerns, police said, with only those above 45 with Israeli ID cards as well as women of any age allowed into the ancient compound.
The police restrictions come after week-long Muslim violence worldwide over the controversial Mohammed cartoons, first published in a Danish newspaper in September.
Police sporadically close off the bitterly contested Jerusalem holy site to younger male Arabs on Fridays during times of high tension, and following multiple alerts over possible violence at the compound.