Israel arrests 3 employees of Al-Aqsa Mosque complex
3 nabbed while on minor restoration work in courtyards of mosque
NEWS SERVICE,  AA  Thursday 15:17, 13 June 2019
File photo

File photo

Israeli forces on Thursday arrested three employees of the Jerusalem's Religious Endowments Authority, according to an official.

Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman of the Jordan-run authority, said in a statement that the three were captured while carrying out a minor restoration work in the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.

The captured were identified as Bassam Al-Hallaq, the head of Al-Aqsa Mosque compound Reconstruction Committee, deputy Taha Aweida and another employee.

Al-Dibs went on to describe the Israeli move as "an intervention in their reconstruction work".

Israeli police have yet to comment on the development.

For Muslims, the Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount", claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, in which the Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.

In a move never recognized by the international community, Israel annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as the self-proclaimed Jewish state’s “eternal and undivided” capital.

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