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Israel again bans men under 50 from Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa mosque

Palestinian men under the age of 50 will not be permitted into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for Friday prayers in Jerusalem as Israeli security plan to clamp down on the area following unrest on the previous night, a police spokesman said.

“Security measures in the old city, Jerusalem today. Only men over the age of 50 permitted. Women of all ages permitted,” Efe news agency cited police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld as saying.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is a holy site for both Muslims and Jews in Jerusalem’s Old City and also a flashpoint for clashes between the Palestinian and Israeli communities during times of tension.

Palestinians were allowed to return to the site to pray on Thursday for the first time since an attack on July 14 in which two Israeli policemen and their three Israeli-Arab assailants were killed.

The security clampdown that ensued, which included the installation of metal detectors, exacerbated tensions and led to clashes between irate Palestinian protesters and Israeli police.

Celebrations after the Israeli government ordered the removal of the increased security installations gave way to fresh unrest around the sacred complex.