Photo: Yoav Zitun
Police stopping rightwing Israelis from entering the Temple Mount on Thursday
Photo: Yoav Zitun

Jerusalem police: Temple Mount open Friday, with limited access

Site will only be open to men over age of 50 and women; Jordanian spokesman: Pressure from Amman led to decision.

The Temple Mount will be open Friday for prayers to men over the age of 50 and women of any age, Jerusalem District Police announced Thursday evening.



The age limits were implemented in the wake of intellience information that young Arab men had planned to disturb the peace at the end of Muslim Friday prayers on the Temple Mount.


Police preventing rightwing Israelis from entering Temple Mount on Thursday (Photo: Yoav Zitun)  (Photo: Yoav Zitun)
Police preventing rightwing Israelis from entering Temple Mount on Thursday (Photo: Yoav Zitun)


The site was closed to all visitors on Thursday, as tensions spiralled in the wake of the attempted assassination of rightwing activist Yehuda Glick in Jerusalem on Wednesday, and the subsequent killing of his suspected attacker in East Jerusalem early Thursday morning.


Israeli rightwingers branded the decision to close the site as a victory for terrorism, while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the move "a declaration of war."


"The assassin achieved his aim," Likud MK Moshe Fegilin said Thursday morning after he was denied entry. "There are no Jews on Temple Mount." Feiglin said that the decision was a reward for instigators of violence, and accused the police of allowing a Muslim presence despite the purported ban.



Moshe Feiglin at the entrance to the Temple Mount on Thursday (Photo: Gil Yohanan) (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Moshe Feiglin at the entrance to the Temple Mount on Thursday (Photo: Gil Yohanan)


Abbas called the decision "a dangerous act and a blatant challenge that will lead to more tension and instability and will create a negative and dangerous atmosphere."


Meanwhile, Jordanian government spokesman Mohammed al-Masri said Thursday evening that Jordan's efforts, spearheaded by King Abdullah, had led to the decision to reopen the Temple Mount. He said Jordan had sent strong messages to the international community on the issue.


US calls for calm

The United States also urged all sides in Jerusalem to exercise restraint, and said it was working with Israelis, Palestinian and Jordanians to try to restore calm.


State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki also condemned the shooting of Yehuda Glick, who holds both Israeli and US citizenship. She called for the reopening of the Al-Aqsa mosque to Muslim worshippers, just before police said the compound was now open again.


"We're extremely concerned by escalating tensions across Jerusalem and particularly surrounding the Haram al-Sharif, Temple Mount," Psaki said.


"It is actually critical that all sides exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric and preserve the status quo on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount in word and in practice."


She told reporters that a "continued commitment by Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians to preserve the historic status quo at this holy site is critical."


US Secretary of State John Kerry was expected to be in touch with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the next 24 hours, Psaki added.



AFP contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 10.30.14, 21:36
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