JERUSALEM – Israeli police have arrested the head of the Islamic authority that oversees Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem following recent protests.
Sheikh Abdelazeem Salhab, a cleric appointed by neighboring Jordan, was arrested early Sunday. Mahdi Abdelhadi, a senior member of the Islamic Waqf, confirmed the arrest.
On Friday, Palestinian protesters streamed into a part of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound that Israel had sealed off in 2003 because it was home to a heritage organization allegedly connected with a militant Islamic group. Israeli police accused the Waqf of attempting to change the status quo at the sensitive site by convening in the closed area last week.
The mosque compound is the third holiest site in Islam and the holiest site for Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount.