Israel Arrests Former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Ikrima Sabri | News from Al-Aqsa Mosque

Relatives of Sheikh Ikrima Sabri say Israeli forces have not given a reason why he was taken into custody.

Israeli forces arrested Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, at his home in occupied East Jerusalem.

Police and Israeli intelligence teams surrounded the house on Wednesday and asked Sheikh Sabri, who is also a preacher at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, to accompany them, a relative told Anadolu News Agency, asking not to not be named for security reasons.

“The Israelis gave no reason for his arrest,” he said.

Sheikh Sabri’s house is in the al-Suwana neighborhood overlooking the Old City of East Jerusalem.

Israeli authorities have arrested the preacher several times in the past. In January, he was banned from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for several months.

Sheikh Sabri recently pointed out that the compound had witnessed a notable escalation in raids by right-wing Jewish religious groups.

Dozens of Israeli settlers escorted by police broke into the compound on Wednesday, the Islamic Endowments Authority said.

“About 66 settlers stormed the complex this morning,” the authority said, adding that Rabbi Yehuda Glick, famous for his calls to step up settler incursions on the site, was among the intruders.

Since 2003, Israel has allowed settlers to enter the flashpoint enclosure almost daily, with the exception of Fridays and Saturdays.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in the world for Muslims. Jews call the area the Temple Mount, claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.

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