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Security high as al-Aqsa mosque re-opens

More than 1,000 officers shepherd small groups of Palestinians for Friday prayers

Israeli occupation forces reopened the al-Aqsa mosque compound today, deploying more than 1,000 security personnel to shepherd small groups of Palestinian worshippers arriving for Friday prayers through several checkpoints.

The occupiers said that they were limiting access to Muslim men over the age of 50 to minimise the prospects for violence triggered by Thursday's killing of a Palestinian suspected of shooting US-born extremist Yehuda Glick.

Mr Glick was shot three times but his condition is said to be improving.

He has been to the fore of a trend for growing numbers of Jews, whipped up by a government minister, to insist on praying on the site.

Muslims view their activities as an attempt to expand Israeli influence in Jerusalem as part of the government's ethnic cleansing of Arabs.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas called the imposed closure on Thursday a "declaration of war" against the Palestinians and the entire Arab and Muslim world.


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