Muslim worshipers and Israeli police clashed Friday in Jerusalem’s Old City after new security measures were put in place at the Al-Aqsa mosque.
Israeli police pushed Palestinians worshipers back and fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse those who said Friday they prefer to worship in the street rather than go through added security measures to get into a sacred mosque.
Thousands of Muslims held a noon prayer service outside the Al-Aqsa mosque – which is known to Jews as the Temple Mount – rather than go through a rigorous security check.
Extra security, including metal detectors, has been in place for a week due to the shooting deaths of two Israeli police officers by three Palestinian gunmen, who themselves died in a shootout after they emerged from the mosque.
Some of the new clashes resulted from protests Friday of a ban on entering the mosque for Muslim men under the age of 50.
There have been clashes nearly daily between Israeli police and protesters at the holy site, which is managed by a Jordanian trust but located on Israeli-administered territory. Clerics from the trust have asked every mosque in Jerusalem to close to protest the security measures, and urged worshipers to pray outside the Al-Aqsa gates instead of entering.