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Israel lifts age restrictions at flashpoint holy site

Palestinians take part in Friday prayers in Ras al-Amud in east Jerusalem on October 16, 2015, following entry restrictions to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compoundIsrael lifted age restrictions for the main weekly prayers at the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound Friday, in an apparent bid to ease tensions over the site that sparked a surge in Israel-Palestinian violence. The decision, which allows all Muslim worshippers to attend Friday prayers at the ultra-sensitive site in Jerusalem, comes as Israel faces growing international pressure to defuse a crisis which many fear heralds a new Palestinian intifada, or uprising. The Middle East peacemaking Quartet — US Secretary of State John Kerry, his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and UN chief Ban Ki-moon — were to hold talks on the escalating violence later Friday.

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