Monday, August 31, 2009

East Jerusalem Shuts Out Thousands of Prayers

By Mel Frykberg

"QALANDIA, West Bank, Aug 31 (IPS) - The future of East Jerusalem and of Palestinian access to it has again been brought under the spotlight.

Thousands of Palestinians were turned away at West Bank checkpoints leading into Jerusalem by Israeli security forces as they tried to attend Friday Ramadan prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

IPS witnessed dozens of heavily armed Israeli soldiers and police cordoning off the Qalandia border crossing south of Ramallah, and preventing hundreds of Palestinians from crossing through.

Women wept and elderly men argued with law enforcement officers. Several scuffles broke out, and a number of young men were beaten and arrested as they tried to force their way through the metal barriers......."

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