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Restrictions eased for Palestinians entering Jerusalem for Ramadan prayers


Israel

Restrictions eased for Palestinians entering Jerusalem for Ramadan prayers

Security has been tightened in Jerusalem on the last Friday of Ramadan as thousands of Palestinians attend Friday prayers at Islam’s third holiest shrine, Al Aqsa mosque.

Israel says it eased age restrictions on those crossing from the occupied West Bank for the Holy Month.

Males over 12 years old are still banned from entering the disputed city. But officials have lowered from 50 to 40 the upper age limit for men wanting to visit the mosque.

The rules, which don’t affect women, will only apply for the last few days of Ramadan.

Palestinians complain that access to holy sites should be guaranteed, especially during religious festivals.

But Israeli authorities say the restrictions are in place to prevent suicide attacks.

On Friday many Palestinian men, residing in the West Bank were turned back. But thousands still made the crossing.

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