Israel Lifts Ban On Palestinian Access To Old City


muslims har habayisIsraeli Police on Tuesday lifted a temporary ban on Palestinians entering the Old City of Yerushalayim.

The restrictions were imposed in the wake of two stabbing attacks in the capital last week in which Palestinians killed two Israelis and wounded three others, including a toddler.

“So far the decision is to return to normal procedures, with no restrictions on entry of worshipers,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri said in a statement, but she warned that the decision could change again if security concerns dictated it.

In an unprecedented move, police had announced on Sunday that only Israeli citizens, tourists and Palestinians who live or work in the Old City would be permitted entry to the ancient walled city during the ban.

Businesses and schools in East Jerusalem and inside the Old City’s walls went on strike to protest the limited access to the Har Habayis, which houses the al-Aqsa Mosque.

The mosque has been at the center of repeated clashes between Israeli security forces and Muslim rioters in recent weeks.

While Israel says Palestinian rioters have used the al-Aqsa mosque as a staging ground for their protests, Palestinian and Arab leaders have accused Israel of planning to change the status quo — the current policy that forbids Jewish prayer — at the site.

Israel has repeatedly denied planning any shift in its policy regarding the flashpoint site, holy to both Muslims and Jews.

Four Israelis have been killed in Palestinian terror attacks since Thursday.

Read more at Times of Israel.

{ Israel}