By Fatma Abu Sebitan |
JERUSALEM -Israeli police rounded up eight Palestinian females from inside East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Wednesday, according to local residents.
“The girls were stopped at one of the mosque gates and taken to a police station for investigation,” a local resident said on condition of anonymity due to security concerns.
He said Nahed Abu Shaqra, the sister of Palestinian resistance icon Raed Salah, the leader of the Islamic movement in northern Israel, was among the detained females.
Abu Shaqra had been previously detained by Israeli forces and banned from entering the flashpoint site for two weeks.
There was no comment from the Israeli police on the arrests.
Meanwhile, some 68 Israeli settlers, backed by Israeli police, forced their way into the Al-Aqsa compound on Wednesday.
Sacred to both Muslims and Jews, Jerusalem is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which for Muslims represents the world’s third holiest site. Jews refer to the area as the “Temple Mount”, claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, in a move never recognized by the international community.
International law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as “occupied territories”, considering all Jewish settlement building on the land illegal.