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The New Arab

Israel enforces strong security presence in Jerusalem ahead of Friday prayers

Armed Israeli forces forcibly evicted worshippers from the Aqsa mosque on Thursday evening [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 28 July, 2017

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Palestinian men under the age of 50 will not be allowed past numerous police cordons for Friday prayers at Jerusalem's al-Aqsa Mosque for the second week in a row.

Jerusalem entered into lockdown on Friday morning as Israeli forces ramped up security measures in anticipation of a repeat of last week's violence.

Three police cordons have been set up before some of the major entrances to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, with only over-50 year olds allowed to pass.

"Heightened security around Temple Mount [Israeli term for al-Aqsa Mosque] & old city to prevent disturbances. Extra police units in the area and will respond to any incidents," tweeted Micky Rosenfeld, spokesperson for the Israeli police.

Violent protests resulted in the deaths of five Palestinians last Friday, with hundreds more wounded.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, after holding talks with the Minister of Security and the Minister of Homeland Security on Thursday evening, reportedly ordered border guards to help increase police numbers in the city.

Israeli forces have also strengthened their presence in other areas of the West Bank, including the Silwan and Shuafat refugee camps. Thousands of Israeli soldiers are expected to be posted to Ramallah, Bethlehem and Hebron.

Al-Aqsa

Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets of Jerusalem on Thursday evening before entering the Aqsa Mosque for the first time in almost two weeks.

Armed Israeli forces later evicted the large crowd gathering in the mosque, citing security fears.

Some younger Palestinians barricaded themselves inside the mosque in order to join protests today, but were later forcibly removed by Israeli police.

Scores were injured in clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police on Thursday with fears of all out war between the two parties.

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