By Nick Clark
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Israeli clamp down at Al Aqsa mosque marks new crackdown on Palestinians

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Issue 2563
The Al Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem
The Al Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem (Pic: Paul Arps/Flickr)

Israel has launched a new crackdown on Palestinians in East Jerusalem, restricting Muslim access to the Al Aqsa mosque compound.

Israeli forces closed the compound on Friday ahead of Muslim prayers, only to reopen it with metal detectors for Muslim worshippers to pass through on Sunday.

Soldiers also ordered security guards from the Waqf—the Muslim body supposed to be in charge of the mosque—off site.

It came after three Palestinians shot and killed two armed Israeli border police officers, who enforce Israel’s occupation of Jerusalem, last week.

Hundreds of Palestinians refused to enter the mosque through the metal detectors and prayed outside instead.

Israeli police attacked some groups of worshippers with batons.

The mosque site, holy to both Muslims and Jews, is a flashpoint in Israel’s attempt to push Palestinians out of East Jerusalem.

Israel has occupied East Jerusalem for 50 years.

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