WORLD

Thousands of Palestinians pray at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque

THOUSANDS OF PALESTINIANS PRAY AT JERUSALEMS AL-AQSA MOSQUE

A Palestinian official stated 10,000 Palestinians gathered at Al-Aqsa compound to pray Friday.

Thousands of Palestinians marched to Al-Aqsa Mosque to pray Friday, a Palestinian official said.

The procession came after more than a week of protests at Israeli security measures at the holy site in the occupied East Jerusalem.

"At least 10,000 Palestinians preformed Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque," Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for the mosque's Waqf Council, told Anadolu Agency.

"Thousands of others prayed in the streets around the Old City of Jerusalem after they were prevented from entering the holy compound."

Dibs said Israeli authorities closed the mosque compound to Muslim worshippers aged under 50.

The Palestinian Prisoners' Society said 21 Palestinians from the East Jerusalem had been banned from entering the compound for 15 days and the detention of five others had been extended.

Last Friday, Muslims refused to enter the mosque and prayed in the streets surrounding the mosque compound in protest at the installation of metal detectors and other restrictions put in place after two Israeli police officers and three Arab-Israelis were killed.

Al-Aqsa is the third holiest site in Islam and the most important to Jews, who refer to it as Temple Mount.

In the southern West Bank, a Palestinian man was shot dead after allegedly trying to stab Israeli soldiers in Gush Etzion, the military said in a statement.

"A soldier at the scene shot the attacker, resulting in his death," the army said. "No injuries were reported among the Israeli soldiers."

The Palestinian Red Crescent said security force personnel prevented ambulances from getting to the scene to treat the man, who was left bleeding from several bullet wounds.

Across the territory, dozens of Palestinians were injured in confrontations with Israeli security forces.

"Thirteen Palestinians were hurt by rubber bullets and live ammunition in clashes that erupted at the northern entrance of Bethlehem city," the Red Crescent said in a statement.

"Seven others were injured in clashes that occurred in the West Bank cities of Ramallah, Hebron and Tulkarem."

Tear gas caused temporary asphyxia to 23 demonstrators, the Red Crescent added.

Since October of 2015, more than 300 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli-Palestinian violence, according to official Palestinian figures. The Israeli authorities have said at least 55 Israelis have been killed over the same period.

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