Israel arrests director of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque

Israel arrests director of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque

No reason provided for Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani’s detention

News Service AA

Israeli police on Monday detained director of the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem, Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, according to eyewitnesses.

Israeli forces raided the home of al-Kiswani in al-Tur neighborhood in East Jerusalem and took him into custody, witnesses said.

No reason for provided for his detention.

According to witnesses, Israeli forces confiscated a computer and a number of documents during the raid.

On Saturday, Israeli public broadcaster KAN said Israeli authorities decided to deport a number of Palestinians from Al-Aqsa Mosque in preparation for Jewish holidays.

Al-Kiswani was detained several times before by Israeli police for the intelligence service.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world's third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Since 2003, Israel has allowed settlers into the flashpoint compound almost on a daily basis with the exception of Fridays and Saturdays.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.


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