“It was decided to suspend the arrival of worshippers to prayers through all the gates to Al-Aqsa Mosque starting Monday,” said a statement issued by the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs in Jordan, which acts as custodian of the site, the third holiest in Islam after Makkah and Madinah.
The new edict suspends the outdoor prayers as well. Those sessions usually draw large crowds, though the numbers have dwindled in recent weeks.
Palestinian Director of the Mosque Sheikh Omar Kisawni confirmed the decision to Reuters.
Religious leaders at other holy sites in Jerusalem’s walled Old City, such as the adjacent Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, have also set precautionary limitations.
The compound’s religious workers and guards will continue to be allowed entry and the Muslim call to prayer will continue as normal, said the Waqf Council, which oversees Jerusalem’s Islamic sites.