Israel restricts access to Al-Aqsa mosque

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JERUSALEM: Police on Friday restricted access to Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound amid tension over Israel’s deadly commando raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld also said police "are on high alert across the country and particularly in Jerusalem," adding that hundreds of officers are deployed around the Old City.

Only women and men over 40 will be allowed to attend Friday prayers at the mosque compound, he said.

The site is the third holiest in Islam and the holiest for Jews because their Second Temple stood there before Romans destroyed it in 70 AD. The area has often been the site of clashes in the past.

Tension has been high since Israeli commandos stormed an aid flotilla set up to break the Gaza embargo, killing nine of the activists on board on Monday.

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