On the first day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan there have been scuffles between Israeli police and pilgrims from the West Bank trying to get to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, one of Islam’s most sacred sites. Security has been stepped up this year as the start of Ramadan has coincided with celebrations marking the Jewish new year.
Checkpoints have been reinforced in the West Bank and around Jerusalem with large crowds expected to make their way to the city. Access to the area of the Al-Aqsa mosque, which also contains the Temple Mount, sacred to Jews, has been restricted. Only Palestinian men aged 45 and over, and women aged 35 and over are being allowed in to attend Friday prayers.