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Israel reopens mosque compound

world Updated: Mar 17, 2010 23:17 IST

AFP
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Israel reopened the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound and lifted a days-old lockdown of the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, a day after Jerusalem saw the heaviest Palestinian rioting in years.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said his forces remained on high alert for any unrest but that the mosque compound — the holiest site for Jews and the the third holiest for Muslims — had been reopened.

“Access to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is now free for both Muslim worshippers and tourists,” he said, using the Jewish name for the site, which had recently been closed to Muslim men under the age of 50 and all non-Muslims.

He added however that some 3,000 police stationed in and around the Old City remained on a high level of alert amid fears of further unrest.

On Tuesday, hundreds of Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces across east Jerusalem in the worst rioting in years that left dozens of Palestinians and police hurt.