JERUSALEM, April 15 â€” Israeli police on Monday limited Muslim access to Jerusalemâ€™s flashpoint Al Aqsa mosque compound, fearing new violence after clashes at the weekend, a spokesman said. As part of the security measures, male residents of Jerusalem would face age restrictions, said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
â€œFor men, only those aged 50 and over are allowed to pray, and women of all ages,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s a precaution that has been taken after a security assessment of the possibility of disturbances.â€ The compound houses the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.
Five people were arrested on Sunday when Palestinians and Israeli police clashed at the compound in the walled Old City.
Police alleged people threw stones and a number of Molotov cocktails and officers responded with stun grenades.
The police restrictions came as Jews prepared to celebrate the week-long Passover festival, starting at sunset. As it does at major Jewish holidays, the military blocked the already limited access to Israel from the occupied West Bank, for 48 hours from midnight Sunday, an army statement said.
It said entry would be permitted to â€œmedical, humanitarian and exceptional casesâ€.