Israeli Forces Arrest Palestinian Minister in Jerusalem

Palestinian Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, Fadi al-Hadami, was detained for activities in Jerusalem'. (Photo: File)

Israel has detained and questioned the Palestinian minister for Jerusalem affairs, Israeli police have said.

Palestine‘s Minister for Jerusalem Affairs Fadi al-Hadami was detained for “activities in Jerusalem”, Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld told AFP on Sunday.

Israeli police released Al-Hadami today, shortly after being detained, as reported by Anadolu Agency. 

Palestinian media reported that Israeli police had arrested al-Hadami from his home in Jerusalem in the early hours of Sunday morning, after searching the premises.

The sources said five other Palestinian men were also arrested on Sunday, from areas across Jerusalem, Bethlehem and south of Hebron (Al-Khalil) in the occupied West Bank.

The detainees identified by Palestinian media included Haydar and Alaa Dirbas who were arrested at the Maqasid Hospital in Occupied East Jerusalem and Ihab Saeed who was arrested from his village near Jerusalem. 

The Israeli authorities did not comment on why the men were arrested.

A source close to the minister told AFP that al-Hadami’s arrest is likely linked to his accompanying of Chile‘s president during a visit to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound a few days ago.

On Tuesday, al-Hadami was seen alongside Chilean President Sebastian Pinera on a tour of the flashpoint holy site, enraging Israel, which said it constituted a violation of regulations and a breach of understandings reached with Santiago for the head of state’s visit.

Commenting on the visit, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said in a statement on Wednesday that the government “takes seriously any infringement of Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount, especially one that violates an agreed-upon procedure.

Israeli media reported that the ministry received a formal letter from the Chilean Embassy later that day, explaining that Pinera’s visit to the Al-Aqsa compound had been a private one.

The arrests follow days of unrest in Jerusalem after Israeli police shot and killed a 20-year-old Palestinian on Thursday, in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya.

The young man, identified as Mohammed Obeid, died of his wounds, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Israeli authorities said they shot Obeid after he allegedly threw fireworks at them.    

(Al Jazeera, PC, Social Media)

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