Palestinian Mufti Detained by Israeli Police After Unrest

Israeli police detained the top Palestinian Muslim cleric for questioning today, then released him without charge amid denunciations by the Palestinians and the Jordanian parliament.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Muhammad Hussain was detained on suspicion of incitement after disturbances yesterday at a holy site in Jerusalem’s Old City. Chairs were thrown from the site at a visiting Jewish group and Hussain was “suspected of involvement,” Rosenfeld said by phone.

Hussain, who carries the title of mufti of Jerusalem, was released without charge after six hours of questioning, Rosenfeld said.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called for the mufti’s immediate release in a text message to journalists from the official Wafa news agency. Jordan’s parliament called for the expulsion of Israel’s envoy and the recall of the Jordanian ambassador to the Jewish state, the official Petra news agency reported.

The shrine, known to Jews as Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, houses two major Muslim mosques and is holy to Jews as the site of their ancient temples. It is located in the eastern sector of the city that Israel captured in 1967 and the Palestinians claim for a future capital.

To contact the reporter on this story: Fadwa Hodali in Jerusalem at fhodali@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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