Police at Temple Mount (Archives)
Photo: AP

Police prevent entrance of Jews, Muslims under 50 to Temple Mount

Despite fears of riots, Islamic Movement protest against rightist organizations' calls for Jews to pray at holy site ends without incident; Sheikh Kamal Hatib: We'll never abandon Al-Aqsa Mosque

Some 150 members of the Islamic Movement gathered near the Lion's Gate in Jerusalem's Old City Thursday morning and protested against rightist organizations' calls for Jews to pray at the Temple Mount.


Policed restricted the entrance to the complex for fear of riots, but the Jewish right-wing activists who vowed to flock to the holy site did not show up, and the demonstration concluded without incident.


Muslim men over the age of 50-years-old who hold Israeli identification cards were allowed to enter. The age for women was not restricted.


MK Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al), who took part in the morning prayers at the Temple Mount, criticized the police's decision to ban Muslim worshippers under the age of 50 from entering the site.


"This decision harms freedom of worship, and it is actually the entrance of the rightist pyromaniacs that should be banned – not the entrance of Muslims," he said.


The prayer session was organized by the northern branch of the Islamic Movement to counter the rightist groups' calls for Jews to pray at the Temple Mount.


"The Al-Aqsa Mosque is in our blood; we will never abandon it," said Sheikh Kamal Hatib, vice-chairman of the Islamic Movement.


However, members of the Islamic Movement said they would keep the peace at the site throughout the day so long as Jewish worshippers are denied access to it.


Sharon Roffe-Ofir contributed to the report 


פרסום ראשון: 04.16.09, 11:50
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