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Israel restricts access to Al-Aqsa mosque

world Updated: Mar 29, 2010 12:29 IST
AFP
Israel

Israel on Monday restricted access to Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound amid concerns of fresh violence at the flashpoint site as Jews celebrate the week-long Passover holiday.

Police said that Muslim men under the age of 50 and all non-Muslims will be barred from entering the compound -- which is sacred to both Muslims and Jews. Police did not say when the restrictions would be lifted.

Authorities have also tightened restrictions on access to Israel from the occupied West Bank until April 6.

Israel usually tightens restrictions on West Bank residents during Jewish holidays and has been especially wary in recent months as other festivals have seen clashes in and around Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

In September and again earlier this month dozens of people were wounded when violence broke out following rumours that Jewish extremists intended to pray at the compound.