Ramallah, Palestine (QNN) – Palestinian Minister of Awqaf (Endowments) and Religious Affairs, Sheikh Yousef Ed’ais, condemned on Sunday the detention by Israeli occupation forces last night of the Chairman of Awqaf Council in Jerusalem, Sheikh Abdul-Azim Salhab, and the Deputy Director of Awqaf, Sheikh Najeh Bkerat. He described their detention as a sign of failure and crisis.
“This is a sign of the failure and crisis experienced by the Israeli occupation after the important success achieved by the masses and the Awqaf of Jerusalem in the reopening of Bab al-Rahma, which had been closed by the occupation since 2003,” Ed’ais was quoted as saying by official Wafa news agency.
He said the detention of the two Awqaf officials and the detention of over 60 Palestinians from Jerusalem over the past few days over tensions in Al-Aqsa Mosque was a bad omen, saying the Israeli occupation might be gearing for more serious steps against the holy Mosque.
Yesterday, Israeli police raided the homes of Salhab, 75 years old, and Bkerat in occupied Jerusalem in middle of the night and detained them. The two were taken to an unknown destination.
The Palestinian Authority’s Detainees and Ex-Detainees Commission said Israeli police handed the two Awqaf officials orders to stay away from Al-Aqsa Mosque for seven days. Both were not yet brought before court when they received the orders inside Israeli police custody.
Salhab and Bkerat were arrested in the aftermath of the reopening of the gate to Bab al-Rahma area inside Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Friday, when thousands of Palestinians performed the Friday Muslim prayer inside it for the first time in 16 years.