Under-45s barred from Temple Mount

Police impose restriction due to recent rioting; three indicted for assaulting city inspectors.

jerusalem riot 224 88 (photo credit: Channel 10)
jerusalem riot 224 88
(photo credit: Channel 10)
Bracing for violence, Jerusalem police announced late Thursday that they will be imposing restrictions on Muslim entrance to the Temple Mount on Friday due to rioting in east Jerusalem earlier this week. All Arab men under the age of 45 will be barred from Friday 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. Police sporadically close off the bitterly contested site to younger male Arabs on Fridays during times of high tension and following multiple alerts over possible violence at the compound. Meanwhile, for the third straight day, police on Thursday barred a group of Israeli Arab members of the Islamic Movement from carrying out unauthorized construction work on the Temple Mount, police said. Two men were detained by police after trying to carry out "surfacing work" in an unauthorized area of the holy site for the second straight day, Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said. Three Arab men had been taken in for questioning on Wednesday. According to decades-old regulations in place at the Temple Mount, Israel maintains overall security control at the site, while the Wakf, or the Islamic Trust, is charged with its day-to-day administration. Jerusalem police chief Cmdr. Aharon Franco said this week that maintaining Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem and the Temple Mount were "top police goals." He noted that Islamic officials were exploiting the tensions in east Jerusalem over last weekend's IDF operation in Gaza to try and carry out the work, and break the status quo at the site. Meanwhile, three Jerusalem Arabs were indicted Thursday for allegedly assaulting two Jerusalem Municipality inspectors during rioting earlier this week. The three men, two adults and a minor, were charged with endangering human life, attempting to inflict serious injury, causing damage with grievous intent, and assaulting a public official. The city workers were pelted with a shower of stones and rocks as they drove through a major east Jerusalem thoroughfare at midday on Monday, narrowly escaping serious injury. The graphic images were caught by TV cameras.