Aged 50 and over only: Palestinians protest against limited access to al-Aqsa mosque
Palestinians have held a protest rally in southern Gaza Strip after Israeli police limited access for Muslims to the al-Aqsa Mosque in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
The demonstrators in the city of Khan Yunis chanted anti-Israeli slogans and burned Israeli flags during the protest on Monday.
The demonstration came after the Israeli regime announced that only male Palestinians, who are above 50, are allowed to pray in the holy mosque as the Jewish Passover holidays begin.
Tel Aviv claims that the measure is a precaution which has been taken after a security assessment of the possibility of disturbances.
On Sunday, clashes broke out between Israeli forces and Palestinians at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound when Israeli police prevented Muslims from entering one of the gates of the compound.
Israeli forces used stun grenades to disperse protesters.
In recent months, Israeli forces and illegal settlers have stepped up their attacks on Palestinians visiting the mosque. This has led to violent confrontations between the two sides.
The Israeli regime has also imposed severe restrictions to stop Muslim worshippers from entering the mosque.
On February 25, the Israeli parliament (Knesset) discussed a plan to annex the compound.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has condemned the Knesset move as a “dangerous escalation,” calling it part of Israel’s goal to “Judaize Jerusalem.”
The al-Aqsa compound, which lies in the Israeli-occupied Old City of al-Quds, is a flashpoint. The compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, is the holiest site in Judaism. It is also Islam’s third-holiest site after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.