Israel bars Palestinian Muslims from performing Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque
Israeli security forces stopped Muslim worshipers from the West Bank at checkpoints at the entrances to the Old City in Jerusalem, and allowed only a very small number of them to reach Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Palestinians [prevented from entering the holy site] performed Friday prayers on the streets.
Israeli police on Friday prevented hundreds of Palestinian residents of the occupied West Bank from reaching Al-Aqsa Mosque to perform Friday prayers.
According to an Anadolu Agency correspondent, Israeli police stopped worshipers from the West Bank at checkpoints at the entrances to the Old City in Jerusalem and allowed only a very small number of them to reach Al-Aqsa Mosque after identity checks.
The Palestinians, who were prevented from reaching the Al-Aqsa Mosque, performed Friday prayers on the streets near the Old City.
The Israeli police erected checkpoints at the entrances to the Old City in the morning.
Imam of Al-Aqsa Sheikh Yusuf Abu Sneina denounced in the Friday sermon "the repeated prevention of worshipers from reaching the mosque."
"It is not permissible under any circumstances to continue preventing worshipers from reaching the mosque to perform prayer," Abu Sneina said.
This is the fourth consecutive Friday that the residents of the West Bank have been prevented from reaching Al-Aqsa Mosque.
About 12,000 residents of East Jerusalem and Palestinians living in Israel performed Friday prayer at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, amid strict measures, according to local estimates.
Israel requires residents of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to obtain special permits in order to reach Jerusalem or to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.