The Israeli police forces arrested Al Shikh Ra’ed Salah, the chif of the Islamic movement inside the Green Line on Wednesday midday.
When he was arrested, Al Shikh Salah was in a marquee that was set up near the excavation site by Palestinian organizations in Jerusalem as a base for the protest against the controversial excavation near the Aqsa mosque in the old city of Jerusalem.
The Israeli police have arrested Al Shikh Ra’ed Salah several times during the past few weeks during protests against the excavation. The last time this happened he was released under conditions of not going back to the site to the excavation.
Israeli bulldozers started demolishing the bridge to the Mugrabi (Moroccan) Gate, one of the main entrances to the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s old city earlier last month. Palestinians fear that the diggings will weaken the Aqsa Mosque’s foundations, since its too close to the mosque.
The Al Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site for Muslims all over the world.
Attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque have been a major source of conflict in the past. A provocative visit by former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in September 2000 sparked the second (current) Palestinian uprising. Over 4700 Palestinians and 1100 Israelis have been killed since.