No age bar for Friday prayers at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa: police

Israeli police said they do not plan to bar young Muslim worshippers from Friday prayers at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque, for the second week running after months of restrictions.

Jerusalem: Israeli police said they do not plan to bar young Muslim worshippers from Friday prayers at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque, for the second week running after months of restrictions.

"So far, restrictions on entry of worshippers will not be imposed," police spokeswoman Luba Samri said in a statement late yesterday.

She said the situation would be kept under review during the night in case a change became necessary.

Israel eased restrictions at the flashpoint mosque compound last week after US Secretary of State John Kerry announced agreement on steps to reduce tensions in the city.

For months, it had allowed in only older male worshippers, keeping out the age range it identified as more likely to cause disturbances.

The site, which is holy to Jews as well as Muslims, has been the focus of months of unrest in annexed Arab east Jerusalem.

The Palestinians have been infuriated by a far-right Jewish campaign for prayer rights at compound that threatens an ultra-sensitive, decades-old status quo under which Jews can visit but not pray.

The violence prompted Kerry to holds a flurry of meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in neighbouring Jordan, after which he announced unspecified confidence-building measures to ease the underlying tensions.

"Firm commitments" were made to maintain the status quo at the compound, Kerry said after separate talks in Amman last Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas. 

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