Men under 50 banned from Friday prayers at Jerusalem holy site
The main prayer session at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque ended more quietly on Friday than expected with Israel setting an age limit on who could attend after two weeks of violent protests over tougher Israeli security measures.
Israel captured East Jerusalem, including the Old City and the holy compound, in the 1967 Middle East war. It annexed the area in a move that has never been recognised internationally. Al-Aqsa mosque, Islam’s third holiest shrine, sits on a tree-lined plateau in the heart of the Old City. It is also the holiest place in Judaism – the venue of two ancient temples, the last destroyed by the Romans. Jews pray under heavy security at the Western Wall at the foot of the elevated plaza. The dispute, like many in the Holy Land, is about more than security devices, taking in issues of sovereignty, religious freedom, occupation and Palestinian nationalism. In the Israeli-occupied West Bank, a Palestinian armed with a knife charged at Israeli soldiers and was shot dead, the military said. (REUTERS)