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PHOTOS: Protests in Jerusalem over Aqsa Mosque closures

Several members of Knesset join protests against heightened restrictions on Muslim access to the holy site while Jewish visits by right-wing activists increase due to Jewish holy days.

Text and photos by Oren Ziv / Activestills.org

Protesters outside the Old City of Jerusalem, October 15, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Protesters outside the Old City of Jerusalem, October 15, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Hundreds of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem and northern Israel demonstrated outside the Old City’s Lions’ Gate early Wednesday morning. Police prevented them from entering Al Aqsa compound.

The protest was against right-wing Jewish activists entering the Aqsa Compound/Temple Mount at the same time that Israeli police are preventing Muslim men from entering the compound to pray. Police have stopped male worshipers under the age of 50 from entering Al Aqsa in recent weeks, particularly during the Jewish High Holidays.

A number of clashes and protests have taken place inside and around the compound in recent weeks, largely focused on visits to the site by Jews, most of whom are right-wing activists; police close the site to Muslim worshippers during such visits.

Anger in East Jerusalem is rising, a local journalist explained to +972, over the combination of the fact that police have been permitting Jews to enter the holy site, which most Palestinians view as a provocation, while at the same time making harsher the restrictions on Muslims who may pray there.

Members of Knesset Haneen Zoabi, Mohammad Barakeh, Ibrahim Sarsour attended the demonstration on Wednesday, and were given permission to enter Al Aqsa Mosque. When a Jewish tour group left, a group of Palestinian women from the protest were allowed to enter as well. Police, however, declared the gathering an illegal demonstration and began pushing the protesters toward the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz, where they used stun grenades and water canons. Police arrested at least four protesters.

MK Haneen Zoabi tries to enter the Aqsa Mosque via the Lions’ Gate, October 15, 2014. Police eventually let her and other members of Knesset enter. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

MK Haneen Zoabi tries to enter the Aqsa Mosque via the Lions’ Gate, October 15, 2014. Police eventually let her and other members of Knesset enter. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

A group of Palestinian women were allowed to enter and pray in the Aqsa Mosque after a Jewish tour group left the site, October 15, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

A group of Palestinian women were allowed to enter and pray in the Aqsa Mosque after a Jewish tour group left the site, October 15, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Protesters outside the Old City of Jerusalem, October 15, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Protesters outside the Old City of Jerusalem, October 15, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Police push protesters away from the Old City toward the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz, using stun grenades and water canons, October 15, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Police push protesters away from the Old City toward the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz, using stun grenades and water canons, October 15, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Mounted Israeli police arrest demonstrators who were protesting the lack of access for Muslim worshipers to the Aqsa Mosque compound, October 15, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Mounted Israeli police arrest demonstrators who were protesting the lack of access for Muslim worshipers to the Aqsa Mosque compound, October 15, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli police stand over Palestinians they have arrested at a demonstration against restrictions placed on Muslim men accessing the Aqsa Mosque, October 15, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli police stand over Palestinians they have arrested at a demonstration against restrictions placed on Muslim men accessing the Aqsa Mosque, October 15, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

A version of this article was published on +972’s Hebrew-language sister site, Local Call. Read it in Hebrew here.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Disgusted

      But here I thought Israel allowed FREEDOM OF WORSHIP. For thousands of years Jews, Muslims and Christians had no issues with this fundamental and elementary balance – yet ‘Democratic’ Israel think you need its PERMISSION to worship.

      Sorry but Zionists do not own God. If they want a monopoly they can move to the Sahara. The Holy Land BELONGS to Muslims Christians and Jews.

      DOWN WITH ZIONIST FASCISTS!

      Reply to Comment
      • Richard

        For thousands of years? This person doesn’t know about the Crusades…so ignorant this is giving me a headache.

        Reply to Comment
        • CigarButNoNice

          “For thousands of years Jews, Muslims and Christians had no issues with this fundamental and elementary balance…”

          For over 13 centuries, the balance was kept thusly: Jews and Christians paid the poll tax to their Muslim rulers and kept their heads down obeying both the grand and petty apartheid rules of Islamic jurisdiction; in exchange, the ruler often (but not always) protected his non-Muslim subjects.

          The support of the Western Left for Islamic apartheid stinks to high heaven in its hypocrisy.

          Reply to Comment
          • Sohail

            Sorry, you do not know and took the keyboard, there is a website called Google, just Google and you will find that Jews lived under Muslim Kingship in Europe and they were allowed to do any business freely, when Crusader defeated to Muslims, Jews were persecuted and left Europe and went to Africa again Muslim countries, and also the went to Palestine where Muslim gave them land and house to live, and you see now they are killing the same Muslims who gave them life.

            Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Freedom of worship is not the same as freedom of stone-throwing, silly.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Richard

      These Arabs think that what they couldn’t keep with force of arms in 1967 will be given back to them if they make a scene and lie to the world until the world hates Jews again. No matter how annoying it is to have Feiglin et al ascend the Temple Mount, nobody can honestly say that the Zionism of 2014, which allows Muslims to maintain the Waqf and worship at Al Aqsa (even while they throw stones onto Jews at the Kotel), is worse than the chauvinistic Arabism and Islamism that drives Zoabi and her compatriots. Zoabi is an outright fraud who simply wants Arabs to triumph over Jews. Her liberalism is about as as genuine as the “democracy” in the DPRK.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Noe

      You missed some of the more critical footage:

      http://youtu.be/iOmL4f1avDc

      That’s firing at Israelis from inside Al Aqsa!

      Here is the police fighting back.

      http://youtu.be/R6llh_fe2kY

      Imagine what would happen in, say, France, if people started firing at the police from inside Notre Dame Cathedralor Sacre Coeur.

      Reply to Comment

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