Christians mark Good Friday in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM - Local Christian Arabs and pilgrims from around the world made their way down the cobbled Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem Friday, where Jesus is believed to have walked to his crucifixion.
Thousands of worshippers, some bearing wooden crosses, walked through the walled Old City to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site where they believe Jesus was crucified and buried before rising from the dead three days later.
The city was also busy on Friday with Jewish worshippers celebrating the week-long festival of Passover, which commemorates the Exodus of the biblical Israelites from captivity in Egypt.
Israeli police meanwhile limited access to Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound, fearing more unrest after days of clashes.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said men under the age of 50 were barred, but there were no restrictions on women.
Dozens of Palestinians were wounded in clashes with police at the site on Wednesday and Sunday after Jewish visitors were allowed onto the compound.
Jews believe the mosque compound is on the site of the first and second biblical temples, their holiest place, and refer to it as the Temple Mount.
Today the site hosts the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosques, and is the third holiest site in Islam.
It has frequently been a flashpoint in the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.