Israel to curb Al-Aqsa entry as Palestinians mark Nakba

Israel`s law and order chief said some Muslims would be denied entry to Jerusalem`s Al-Aqsa mosque compound on Friday when Palestinians begin mourning the creation of the Jewish state.

Last Updated: May 13, 2011, 23:48 PM IST

Jerusalem: Israel`s law and order chief
said some Muslims would be denied entry to Jerusalem`s Al-Aqsa
mosque compound on Friday when Palestinians begin mourning the
creation of the Jewish state.

Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch told
public radio Thursday that police would "thin out the number
of worshippers at the Temple Mount" -- the Hebrew term for the
compound inside the walled Old City which houses the Al-Aqsa
mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed that
some restrictions would be in force during the Friday prayers
but he was not immediately able to give details.

A police statement said that officers, reinforced by
paramilitary border police, "will deploy from early tomorrow
morning in east Jerusalem and in the alleys of the Old City in
order to preserve the law and security."

It said that security forces manning crossing points
into annexed east Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank
would be beefed up and there would be increased checks on
vehicles entering the city.

"The police will act firmly to prevent any attempt to
disturb public order by anybody," it said.

An army spokeswoman said that the military was ready for
any scenario.

"The army is prepared for any unusual event during the
coming weekend," she said.

The move to limit access to what is the third holiest
site in Islam after Mecca and Medina, came as the Palestinians
were poised to begin a series of marches and demonstrations in
the run up to Nakba Day, which will be commemorated on Sunday.

Activists behind a website called "The Third Intifada"
have also called for a new uprising, which would see thousands
of Palestinian refugees march towards homes which they fled
from or were forced out of when Israel was created in 1948.

Palestinian refugees are expected to stage rallies and
demonstrations in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.

Nabil Shaath, a senior official of the Palestine
Liberation Organisation, said he was expecting people in
neighbouring countries to carry out acts of solidarity with
the Palestinians, peaking on May 15, the anniversary of the
Jewish state`s foundation by international reckoning.

PTI