World, Middle East

Israeli police release Jerusalem’s top Muslim cleric

Grand mufti was taken into custody earlier in Bab Al-Asbat area (Lion’s Gate) after Friday prayer

Israeli police release Jerusalem’s top Muslim cleric FILE PHOTO

By Saad Amuri; Writing by Burcu Arik


Israeli police on Friday released Jerusalem’s top Muslim cleric Sheikh Mohammad Hussein who was detained earlier near the Al-Aqsa mosque, Palestine's official news agency WAFA reported.

The mufti was taken into custody from the Bab Al-Asbat area (Lion’s Gate) after Friday prayer.

“Israeli police detained my father in a violent manner and took him to unknown destination,” Omar, son of the grand mufti, had told Anadolu Agency.

Hundreds of Palestinians performed Friday prayer in Bab al-Asbat after they were prevented from praying at the Al-Aqsa mosque.

On Friday, Israeli police shot dead three Palestinians after an armed attack claimed the lives of two officers inside the flashpoint Al-Aqsa compound.

According to a statement by the Israeli police, the Palestinians opened fire at the Israeli officers at the Old City of Jerusalem’s Lion's Gate (Bab Al-Asbat).

The Palestinian attackers fled the scene towards the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, and an exchange of fire took place between them and the Israeli police.

“Two police officers were critically injured and later died of their wounds in an Israeli hospital, while a third one was hurt by shrapnel and is out of danger,” police said.

Following the attack, Israeli police cleared the Al-Aqsa mosque and closed it to the public.

Yoram Ha-Levy, Jerusalem police district commander, said that Friday prayers would not be held at the Al-Aqsa mosque.

After the attack, Israeli police beefed up security, deploying hundreds of troops and erecting roadblocks at the entrances of Jerusalem’s Old City, eyewitnesses said.

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