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Violence erupts across West Bank over limited access to Al Aqsa mosque

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Violence erupts across West Bank over limited access to Al Aqsa mosque

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There have been clashes across the West Bank following Israel’s decision to restrict access to the sacred Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

Only Muslim worshippers over the age of 50 were allowed into the complex to pray this morning. It comes after the shooting on Wednesday night of a prominent Jewish far-right activist who led a campaign for Jews to be allowed to pray at the site.

In response to that Israeli police killed the suspected gunman and closed down all entry as violence broke out in East Jerusalem.

Locals say it was the first time in 14 years that Al Aqsa had been shut to all visitors, whether they were Muslims, Jews or tourists.

The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas described the closure as “tantamount to a declaration of war” by Israel.

Tensions have been high for weeks following the Gaza war and Israel’s moves to expand settlement building in eastern areas of the city, which the Palestinians want for a capital of an independent state alongside Gaza and the West Bank.