JERUSALEM, July 21, 2017 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Friday detained at least 10 Palestinians, including Fatah officials and activists, during multiple raids across East Jerusalem.
Israeli police detained former Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and member of Fatah Revolutionary Council after storming his home in the city.
Police also detained Fatah movement’s Jerusalem Secretary-General Adnan Ghaith and his brother, Hani, after storming their homes in Silwan.
Other detained Fatah officials and activists included head of the Jerusalem Committee for Families of Prisoners Amjad Abu Asab, Musa al-Abbasi, Ahed al-Risheq, Abu Ali Ajaj, Zuheir al-Za‘anin and Nasser al-Hidmi.
Another Palestinian was handcuffed and detained from the vicinity of the Lions’ Gate (Bab al-Asbat), which leads to Jerusalem’s Old City.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces conducted a raid into Hindaza area, east of Bethlehem, where they detained a 60-year-old Palestinian man.
These large-scale detention raids came amidst rising tensions after Israel installed metal detectors at two of the gates leading to Al-Aqsa Mosque compound following a deadly attack.
Islamic Waqf (Endowment) in charge of running the mosque compound called on Palestinians in East Jerusalem to close all mosques and head towards Al-Aqsa Mosque for Friday prayers to express their rejection of entering the holy site through metal detectors.
Palestinian and Muslim leaders have rejected the new measures as a violation of the longstanding status quo and vowed not to enter the mosque until they are removed.
Following an agreement with between Israel and the Muslim Waqf after occupying Jerusalem in 1967, only Muslims are allowed to pray in the mosque compound while Jewish prayer is allowed at the Western Wall next door.
However, Jewish groups who have previously called for the destruction of the mosque and the construction of a Jewish temple on the spot are allowed to freely roam the site under heavy police escort.
Combined with proposal for a Knesset vote to divide the site between Muslims and Jews, the visits have outraged the Palestinian public, which views encroachments on the holy site as symptomatic of the wider denial of their rights to historic Palestine as well as discrimination in housing, employment and social services by Israeli authorities.
The compound, which houses both the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque, is the third holiest site in Islam. It is also venerated as Judaism‘s most holy place as it sits where Jews claim the First and Second Temples once stood.
Al-Aqsa is located in East Jerusalem, a part of the Palestinian territories that have been under Israeli military occupation since 1967.K.F.