Israeli police on standby after Hamas calls 'day of rage'| MENAFN.COM

Tuesday, 25 January 2022 05:07 GMT

Israeli police on standby after Hamas calls 'day of rage'


(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Israeli police beefed up their numbers in Jerusalem on Friday, barring young men from prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosque site ahead of what Islamist Palestinian movement Hamas dubbed a "day of rage".

Palestinian protesters have clashed with police at the sacred site for three days over this week's Jewish new year in spite of international calls for calm.

"In light of intelligence received indicating the intention of Arab youths to disturb the peace at Friday prayers on Temple Mount it was decided to limit the age of Muslim worshippers," said a police statement, using the Hebrew term for the hilltop sacred to both Jews and Muslims.

"Men aged 40 and above and women of all ages will be permitted to enter for prayers," it said.

The measure is meant to deter the presence of Palestinian youths who are generally at the forefront of violent protests against what they see as increasing Israeli encroachment at the compound.

Hamas had called for a "day of rage" to coincide with weekly Friday prayers.

Israeli authorities fear further trouble with the approach of more religious holidays. The Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha coincides on Wednesday with the solemn Jewish fast of Yom Kippur.

Jews begin their seven-day Sukkot festival the following week, one of the holidays when more Israelis than usual are likely to visit the compound.

It is the most sacred site in Judaism, with Biblical tradition identifying it as the site of the first and second temples, destroyed by the Babylonians and the Romans.

Known to Muslims as Al-Haram al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary), the compound houses the famous golden Dome of the Rock shrine and Al-Aqsa mosque.

Believed to be where the Prophet Muhammad made his night journey to heaven, it is the third-holiest site in Islam after the Grand Mosque in Mecca and the Prophet's Mosque in Medina, both in Saudi Arabia.

Jews are allowed to visit but cannot pray there to avoid further raising tensions.

A small but vocal Israeli minority, among them cabinet ministers, are demanding that Jewish prayer be allowed.


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