Hamas boosts Temple Mount activities

Four east J'lem residents suspected of leading Hamas faction at the site.

January 1, 2007 12:39
muslims praying 298.88

muslims praying 298.88. (photo credit: AP [file])

Jerusalem police on Monday arrested four Hamas activists from east Jerusalem who are suspected of organizing illicit Palestinian political activity on the Temple Mount, police said. The arrests came just 48 hours after police apprehended four Arab teens and a Wakf official on the Temple Mount for allegedly hanging two large pictures of Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and Palestinian flags on Al-Aksa Mosque. Jerusalem police spokes-man Shmuel Ben-Ruby said that the violent Islamic group was consistently trying to increase its presence on the Jerusalem holy site and was exploiting the large turnout at the compound for a three-day Muslim holiday underway in an attempt to expand its activities at the site. Police had closed off the site to non-Muslims for the Eid al-Adha, or Feast of the Sacrifice, holiday that began Saturday. According to decades-old arrangements in place at the site, Israel maintains overall security on the Temple Mount, while the Wakf, or Islamic Trust, is in charge of the day-to-day maintenance of the compound. The four suspects were brought to a Jerusalem court for a remand hearing Monday.

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