Despite the statement referred to in this ad by Israeli organization Machsom Watch that the State of Israel will guarantee freedom of religion and access to holy sites, Palestinian Muslims and Christians are routinely deprived of their right to pray at their holy places, even – especially – during the most holy times. Friday, Oct 20, was the last Friday during the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims fast and come to pray in Jerusalem more frequently, especially on Fridays.
Every Friday in Jerusalem, they keep out Muslim men from about 15-45. Hundreds of Israeli army and police set up barricades in East Jerusalem and around the Old City gates that allow them to carefully screen all those who attempt to come in. At the checkpoints into Jerusalem, Muslim men of certain ages (usually 15-45 or so) are not allowed to enter Jerusalem or the Old City. Twenty-five people were put into the hospital Friday when tear gas and stun grenades were used to dispel the crowd of families gathered to try to enter Jerusalem at the Bethlehem checkpoint. Pictured here are the men praying at the Bethlehem checkpoint after being denied entry into Jerusalem.