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Israel releases senior Palestinian cleric arrested after al-Aqsa unrest

Published: Updated:

Israeli police released a senior Muslim cleric who helps administrate a sacred compound in Jerusalem after he was arrested earlier on Sunday, two days after he re-opened al-Aqsa mosque sealed by Israel during a Palestinian uprising in 2003.

Sheikh Abdel-Azeem Salhab, who sits on the religious council appointed by Jordan to oversee the Islamic sites at the compound, personally reopened the gate leading into the Bab al-Rahmeh mosque on Friday, and hundreds of Muslims went inside to pray for the first time in years.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Reuters Salhab and another person were arrested on Sunday morning, two days after the incident, for breaching an order, and that they were being held for questioning.

Last Monday, Israeli police arrested five Palestinians for allegedly “causing a disturbance” at al-Aqsa mosque.