The New York Times
March 12, 2010 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel has sealed off the West Bank for 48 hours, preventing Palestinians from entering Israel because of fears of unrest.

There have been clashes after Friday prayers at mosques in Jerusalem and elsewhere in recent weeks, sparked by deadlock in peace talks and Israel's inclusion of two West Bank shrines on a list of national heritage sites.

Several Palestinians have been badly wounded and dozens of protesters and Israeli policemen have suffered light injuries.

Police say only men over 50 will be allowed to pray Friday at the shrine at the center of the disturbances -- the Jerusalem compound Jews call the Temple Mount and Muslims call the Noble Sanctuary. There are no limitations on women.

The closure began at midnight Thursday and will end at midnight Saturday.


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