Tension around al-Aqsa Mosque ahead of Jewish Passover
Published Monday 14/04/2014 (updated) 16/04/2014 20:48
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – Israeli forces have deployed heavily at all gates of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound since early Monday imposing strict restrictions on the entry of Muslim worshipers to the compound.
Director of the Jerusalem office of the Palestinian ministry of endowment Sheikh Azam al-Khatib told Ma’an that the Israeli police officially notified him that the Moroccan gate would be shut down completely.
In addition, all tourist programs in the compound have been cancelled, added Sheikh al-Khatib highlighting that he has invested huge efforts since Sunday contacting Israeli police to make sure they will prevent the entry of “extremist” Jews into the compound.
Furthermore, Israeli police decided to allow only Jerusalem women and men who are above 50 to enter the compound for prayers after they leave their identity cards with police officers at the gates.
About 500 students who study in schools inside the compound have also been denied entry.
Several Muslim worshipers have decided to stay inside the compound day and night after right-wing Jewish organizations urged Jews to flock to the compound which the Jews believe is the site of a former temple and slaughter their Passover sacrifices inside.
Passover starts Tuesday according to the Jewish calender.