Israeli police have barred male worshipers under 50 from entering the Old City of Jerusalem and Temple Mount, also known as the Noble Sanctuary, for Friday prayers following last week’s fatal shooting.
Women are still allowed to enter regardless of age, as are tourists, according to police foreign press spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
Police and border police units will be mobilized in all areas and neighborhoods and will respond to any incidents or disturbances throughout the Old City, Rosenfeld added.
Last Friday, two Israeli police officers were killed in a shooting by the Lions’ Gate in the Old City walls, next to what Muslims call the Noble Sanctuary and Jews the Temple Mount.
The Waqf, the Jordanian religious authority which administers the Temple Mount, has condemned the use of metal detectors to scan worshipers. Waqf religious leaders have refused to enter through the detectors which have been set up as part of the security clampdown.
Israeli police say they are working to ensure Friday prayers are able to continue while the heightened security measures are in place.
Temple Mount was closed after last Friday’s attack, and reopened Sunday for worshipers, visitors and tourists, with added security measures.
Rosenfeld said at the time that three armed assailants, whom he identified as terrorists, targeted police units in the area. One tried to stab a police officer, he said. The attackers were Israeli Arabs from Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel, he added.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid tribute to the slain police officers, naming them as Haiel Sitawe, 30, father to a 3-week old son, and Kamil Shnaan, 22. Both officers were from the Druze community, an Arabic-speaking religious minority.