Fearing Violence, Israel Bars Men Under 50 From Friday Temple Mount Prayers

Palestinian worshipers pray outside the Dome of the Rock at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem during the third Friday prayers of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan on July 26, 2013. AFP PHOTO/AHMAD GHARABLI (Photo credit should read AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images)

The Times of Israel reports: Police barred men under the age of 50 from entering the Temple Mount for Friday prayers, saying they had received information extremists were planning violent protests in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The decision was made by Jerusalem police chief Yoram Halevi after a security assessment, a police spokeswoman said early Friday morning, in anticipation of mass demonstrations after prayers — the highlight of the Muslim religious week — later in the day. The site remained open to all women.

In addition, large numbers of forces were being deployed in and around Jerusalem, and some roads leading to the flash point holy site were closed to traffic. Police called on Muslim leaders and public figures to denounce incitement and violence and to act responsibly to calm the situation.

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