JERUSALEM, June 4 (Bernama) -- Muslim men under 40, who are not residents in Israel will be barred from prayer at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday, Israeli police announced, in a move apparently to reduce the likelihood of protests following prayer.
Palestinians were angered by the move, seen as an effort to strike Muslim presence from the city, according to Qatar News Agency (QNA).
An Israeli military spokeswoman said she was unaware of any similar restrictions in place at West Bank checkpoints, however, indicating that Palestinian men with permits from inside the area will be allowed to access Jerusalem, but halted from entry to the Old City, or the mosque itself.
Men barred from entering the area often pray in groups outside the Old City, under heavy police guard.
Police said early Friday that they had received intelligence on several young men who were intending to "start problems" after the prayer in the holy city.
Restrictions on men under 50 and women under 45 are commonly placed on Palestinians hoping to access Jerusalem.
The last week of Ramadan in 2009 saw thousands turned away at checkpoints, unable to pray in Jerusalem during one of the holiest weeks of the year, on account of a military closure of the West Bank on the occasion of the Israeli celebrations of Rosh HaShana.
Women were not affected by the restrictions announced on Friday.