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Thousands pray in the streets amid Aqsa mosque restrictions

March 21, 2014 4:28 P.M. (Updated: March 23, 2014 11:53 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Thousands of Palestinian worshipers performed prayers in the streets of Jerusalem on Friday after Israeli authorities imposed age restrictions on entering the Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

Men under 50 were forced to pray in the streets as Israeli authorities imposed restrictions around the Old City to accommodate the Jerusalem Marathon.

Several main roads were closed and a number of checkpoints set up around the Old City as thousands ran in the event.

The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage said in a statement that Israel is trying to discourage Palestinian from praying at the holy site by imposing frequent restrictions.

Last Friday, the compound was mostly empty after Israeli authorities prohibited all Palestinians under the age of 40 from praying there and set up barricades at the compound's entrances to limit their access.

The restrictions come only two weeks after Israeli authorities imposed similar restrictions, barring Palestinians under the age of 50 from praying in the compound. Those restrictions led to protests both in Palestine and abroad, as many feared such limitations were part of a broader strategy to limit Palestinian access to the compound.

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