Israeli Police Denies Worshipers Access to al-Aqsa Compound

JERUSALEM, August 25, 2015 (WAFA) – For the second day in a row, Israeli police Tuesday imposed strict restrictions on the entry of Muslim worshipers to al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, according to the Islamic Waqf.

Women of all ages have been denied entry, while only few male worshipers were allowed there and after passing through Israeli checkpoints. Israeli police also withheld the Identification cards of many male worshipers until they left the compound.

Meanwhile, groups of Jewish fanatics resumed their daily provocative visits to the Islamic holy site.

An Islamic Waqf official told WAFA it was the first time Israeli police enforced a temporal limit on the presence of Muslim worshipers at the compound. He said some worshipers were asked by the police not to remain there for more than half an hour.

In the meantime, dozens of worshipers who were denied entry gathered at Bab al-Silsila Gate, which leads to al-Aqsa compound, in protest of the orders. The protesters chanted religious and national slogans before the police attempted to disperse them, physically assaulted many including women, who were slightly injured.

This came a day after Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan sent a letter to Israeli “Defense” Minister Moshe Ya’alon urging him to outlaw a group of male and female Muslim protesters, often referred to as Mourabitoun, who gather at al-Aqsa Mosque around the clock to block settlers’ entry to the Islamic holy site.

Jews refer to the site as the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples destroyed in ancient times. The site is home to the third holiest mosque in Islam, and houses the al-Aqsa Mosque Building and the Dome of the Rock.

The site, which is part of East Jerusalem, was occupied by Israel from Jordan in 1967 but both countries agreed to keep the site under Jordanian jurisdiction since then.