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Tens of thousands protest after Muslim prayers across Mideast over Israeli airstrikes on Gaza
Tens of thousands of Muslims are demonstrating across the Middle East in support of the Palestinians and to protest against the Israeli airstrikes pounding the Gaza Strip
JERUSALEM (AP) — Tens of thousands of Muslims demonstrated Friday across the Middle East in support of the Palestinians and to protest against the Israeli airstrikes pounding the Gaza Strip, underscoring the risk of a wider regional conflict erupting as Israel prepares for a possible ground invasion there.
From Amman, Jordan, to Yemen's capital, Muslims poured out onto the streets after weekly Friday prayers. At Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, Israeli police had been permitting only older men, women and children to the sprawling hilltop compound for prayers, trying to prevent the potential for demonstration as tens of thousands attend on a typical Friday.
An Associated Press reporter watched police allow just a Palestinian teenage girl and her mother into the compound out of 20 worshippers who tried, some of them even over the age of 50. Young Palestinian men who were refused entry gathered at the steps near Lion’s Gate, their eyes downcast, until police shouted at them and shepherded them out of the Old City altogether.
“We can’t live, we can’t breathe, they are killing everything that good is good within us,” Ahmad Barbour, a 57-year-old cleaner in a clean white thobe, said, seething, after police blocked him from entering for prayers. “Everything that is forbidden to us is allowed to them.”