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Israel occupation forces arrest Director of Al-Aqsa Mosque

Director of Al Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Omar Al-Kiswani in Jerusalem on 27 July 2017. ( Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency )
Director of Al Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Omar Al-Kiswani in Jerusalem on 27 July 2017 [Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency]

The Israeli occupation forces yesterday detained the Director of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Omar Al-Kiswani, reported Wafa news agency.

According to local witnesses, the soldiers raided his home, based in Al-Tur neighbourhood in East Jerusalem, before taking him into custody.

The Israeli soldiers confiscated a computer and a number of documents during the raid, without stating any reason for his arrest.

It comes after Kiswani condemned the Israeli occupation authorities following the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound raid by extremist Israeli Jewish settlers, last month, via the Lions Gate.

He described the raid from the Lions Gate as a "serious measure that violates the status quo at the holy site and the agreements signed between Israel and Jordan concerning the affairs of the Mosque."

"We do not accept raids, whether from Bab Al-Asbat, or Bab Al-Magharba. What happened was an attempt to anger the Jerusalemite street, and we do not look at it in good faith."

Kiswani was held in detention for several hours before being released last night.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world's third holiest site for all Muslims. Since 2003, the Israeli occupation authorities have allowed settlers to raid the compound almost on a daily basis, except on Fridays.

The Jordan-run Islamic Waqf Department, which is in charge of the holy site, has repeatedly described the settlers' presence at Al-Aqsa Mosque as provocative, saying that Palestinian worshippers and guards at Al-Aqsa feel uncomfortable with the presence of Israeli police and settlers touring the Islamic holy site.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates holds the Israeli government fully responsible for the consequences of its aggression against Jerusalem and its Islamic and Christian holy sites, particularly the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

READ: Israel permits raids of Al-Aqsa during Jewish holidays

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