World Bulletin / News Desk
Israeli police on Thursday arrested six Palestinian employees from the Al-Aqsa Mosque's reconstruction committee as Jewish settlers stormed the holy site again.
"Israeli Police arrested early this morning six employees from inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound while they were doing their work" Al-Aqsa Guard Othman Abu Gharbiyeh told Anadolu Agency.
"The employees were arrested after the Israeli police claimed that they lack permits to renovate some facilities in Al-Haram Al-Sharif [Al-Aqsa Mosque compound]," he added.
The detained employees include the committee head Bassam Al-Hallak and deputy head Taha Aweida, he added.
The arrests came on the heels of a major row prompted by a proposal by Knesset member Moshe Feiglin to impose Israeli oversight of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam's third holiest shrine, and revoke the Jordanian supervision on the holy site.
Since the 1950s, Jordan has administered and overseen all Muslim and Christian religious sites in Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem).
A 1994 peace treaty between Jordan and Israel recognizes Jordan's special supervisory role over holy sites in the historical city.
Meanwhile, around 70 settlers stormed the compound on Thursday through Al-Magharbeh Gate under the protection of the Israeli police.
In recent months, groups of extremist Jewish settlers, often accompanied by Israeli security forces, have stepped up their intrusions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, the world's third holiest site for Muslims.
The frequent violations anger Palestinian Muslims and occasionally lead to violent confrontations.
Jews refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied Al-Quds during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state.
Palestinians accuse Israel of trying to "Judaize" the holy city, which they want as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Jordan slams Israeli official's tresspass on Al-Aqsa
A Jordanian minister on Thursday denounced as a "serious escalation" a recent storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque compound by member of Israeli Knesset (MK) Moshe Feiglin.
"The Israeli government is responsible for allowing extremists to repeatedly mess with Al-Aqsa Mosque and its surroundings," Jordanian State Minister for Media Affairs Mohammed al-Momani told Anadolu Agency.
"Israeli violations against sacred sites provoke animosity against and hatred against Israel."
On Wednesday, Feiglin entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound under the eyes of Israeli police and the protection of private guards.
Feiglin was quoted by the Palestinian Wafa news agency as saying from inside the compound that the site was "for the Jewish people."
Palestinians, he reportedly added, "should be deported to Saudi Arabia, where they have their own place to pray."
Feiglin recently called for holding a special session of the Knesset (Israel's parliament) to discuss proposals for imposing Israeli oversight of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam's third holiest site – but the session was later cancelled.
Al-Momani said his country would continue to defend Al-Aqsa Mosque against Israel's actions.
Since the 1950s, all Muslim and Christian religious sites in Jerusalem's Old City have been administered by Jordan.
A 1994 peace treaty between Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom recognizes the latter's special supervisory role over holy sites in the historical city.Last Mod: 21 Şubat 2014, 09:57