Citing intelligence alerts over likely Palestinian disturbances at the Temple Mount after Friday prayers, Jerusalem police announced 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 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 compound.
The police restrictions come one week after Hamas won a landslide victory in Palestinian parliamentary elections, sweeping nearly all the major West Bank cities as well as the vote in east Jerusalem in a
stunning upset victory.
Police sporadically close off the bitterly contested Jerusalem holy site to younger male Muslims on Fridays during times of high tension, and following multiple alerts over possible violence at the compound.