Israel releases grand mufti of Jerusalem

Israel forces on Wednesday released the grand mufti of Jerusalem but police said they intended to pursue an investigation into the Palestinian religious leader. 

“The investigations about mufti Mohammed Hussein will continue,” an Israeli police statement said.

Hours earlier Israeli intelligence officers had broke into the mufti's home in the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood of East Jerusalem and took him to the Russian Compound detention center.

"At 8:10 a.m. two vehicles from Israeli intelligence arrived at our house and detained my father, taking him to the Russian Compound detention center for interrogation," one of Hussein's sons told Ma'an.

An Israeli police spokesman told AFP that the mufti was being questioned on suspicion of involvement in a "disturbance" at the al-Aqsa compound on Tuesday. 

"Some chairs were thrown at a group of Jews on the Temple Mount," which Muslims refer to as al-Haram al-Sharif, Mickey Rosenfeld told AFP of the previous day's incident.

The grand mufti is in charge of Jerusalem's Islamic holy sites, including the al-Aqsa mosque.

President Mahmoud Abbas and his resigned Prime Minister Salam Fayyad slammed the arrest. 

Abbas "condemned the occupying Israeli authorities' detention of Jerusalem mufti Mohammed Hussein," his office said in a statement.

The president "demanded the Israeli government release the mufti immediately," and said "the arrest represents an audacious challenge to freedom of worship."

Fayyad, in a separate statement, said the detention was a "grave escalation." 

"Fayyad considers the occupation's detention of the Mufti, Mohamad Hussein, a grave escalation in Israel's relentless violations of international law and a belligerent assault, especially in light of the Mufti's position as well as the high standing and symbolism of his office." Fayyad said. 

He warned of "further deterioration if the international community does not intervene and assume its full responsibilities in reining in Israeli violations and insolence against our people and their rights as well as their holy sites and religious leaders."

Source: Ma'an News

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