Israel arrests sheikh at al-Aqsa

Police crack down on protest led by Raed Salah against al-Aqsa compound excavation.

    Shiekh Salah was arrested and barred from Jerusalem's Old City in February [AFP]

    Reporters also said that the filming equipment of the team of Pal Media, a Palestinian local news agency, was destroyed.

     

    Resistance

     

    Salah, an Israeli citizen, has led the protest against Israeli renovation work near the holy compound in Jerusalem's old city known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

    He was released later on Wednesday after a Jerusalem court banned him from joining "assemblies of more than eight people in public places for one month," Rosenfeld said.

     

    Salah has been staying in a tent positioned more than 150m away from the al-Aqsa mosque compound, from where he was ordered to keep his distance for 60 days on charges that he co-ordinates protests against Israeli excavation works near the mosque.

     

    He says that Israel's work is undermining the foundations of the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, Islamic shrines which stand at the site.

     

    Repair work

    Israel
    says the work is needed to repair a ramp damaged by a snowstorm and there is no threat to the Muslim holy sites.

     

    Salah was arrested and barred from Jerusalem's Old City in February after scuffling with Israeli police who were guarding the site.

     

    Israeli police are now deployed near Sheikh Salah’s tent, in an attempt to prevent supporters from reaching it.

     

    Walid al-Umari, Al Jazeera’s Palestine bureau chief, has confirmed that the Israeli excavation works near the al-Aqsa mosque are still underway.

     

    The Israeli authorities have showed no willingness to stop these excavation works, he said.

     

    Ramallah raid

     

    Israeli forces also arrested 18 men in a raid on the Palestinian military intelligence headquarters in Ramallah.

     

    The man gave themselves up after the building was surrounded and the soldiers forced their way in.

     

    The Israeli army alleges that the men had been involved in attacks against Israeli civilians and solders.

     

    Palestinian security sources say the men belonged to al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, linked to President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party and were also members of the Palestinian security services.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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