Israeli forces restrict al-Aqsa worshippers for last Friday Ramadan prayers with increased security checks

Israeli forces restrict al-Aqsa worshippers for last Friday Ramadan prayers with increased security checks
The Palestinian Authority accused Israel of Judaicising the old city of Jerusalem, after increased security checks restricted worshippers from reaching al-Aqsa mosque on the final Thursday evening of Ramadan.
2 min read
23 June, 2017
Worshippers praying Taraweeh at al-Aqsa on Thursday evening [Anadolu]
The Palestinian Authority criticised Israel's decision to increase security on the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem on Thursday evening, calling it an attack on the area's historical and cultural identity.

The Israeli authorities are trying to 'Judaise' the area, a statement by the Palestinian Foreign Office said.

"It has become clear that Netanyahu is trying to undermine any credibility of international legitimacy and its resolutions," a statement from the Foreign Ministry said.

Israeli authorities refused to let crowds of Palestinians pass freely to the al-Aqsa mosque for the final Friday of Ramadan, citing security concerns.

"Murderers have gathered at this gate time after time, attacking time after time," Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said.

"It has become a symbol of terror."

Tens of thousands of Palestinians congregated in the area surrounding the mosque for Taraweeh prayers on Thursday.

In response, Israeli forces deployed hundreds of armed police officers throughout the old city of Jerusalem, reportedly to help keep the peace.

At least three Palestinian worshippers were injured during an Israeli raid on the al-Aqsa Mosque on Sunday.

Israeli forces were reportedly responding to the killing of an Israeli border guard, Hadas Malka, by three Palestinian men.

The United Nation's cultural agency criticised Israeli interventions in Jerusalem as a violation of international law in May.

A UNESCO resolution denounced the actions of "Israel, the occupying power... to alter the character and status of the holy city of Jerusalem."

The resolution particularly focused on its creeping annexation of Jerusalem since 1967, a move never recognised by the international community.