Jerusalem Friday prayers sees smaller crowds amid partial coronavirus lockdown


Palestinian worshipers scuffled with Israeli police in East Jerusalem on Friday as crowds headed to Al-Aqsa Mosque to pray, amid a partial lock down imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Police in riot gear and wearing face masks put barricades up outside Damascus Gate and other entrances to the walled Old City ahead of Friday noon prayers, and checked identity papers to limit the numbers attending.

But the clerics permitted prayers on the huge open area around the two shrines, which sit atop the sacred compound known to Muslims worldwide as al-Haram al-Sharif, or The Noble Sanctuary, and to Jews as Har ha-Bayit, or Temple Mount.

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