Israel Arrests Palestinian Minister Who Joined Chilean President at Temple Mount

Jerusalem affairs minister says he was arrested for 'violating sovereignty' ■ Arrest comes amid heightened tensions in East Jerusalem after police fatally shot Palestinian

The Dome of the Rock is seen in the background as Chilean President Sebastian Pinera and his wife Cecilia Morel visit Jerusalem's Temple Mount, June 25, 2019.
Reuters

Israeli police arrested Palestinian Jerusalem Affairs Minister Fadi al-Hadmi overnight Friday, days after he accompanied Chilean President Sebastian Pinera and his delegation to the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. 

On Wednesday, Israel's Foreign Ministry reprimanded Pinera, who during his visit in Israel and the West Bank was accompanied by Palestinian officials to Jerusalem's Temple Mount compound.

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According to the Israeli ministry, it was decided in an earlier agreement with the Chileans that Palestinian officials would not accompany Pinera, who also paid a visit to the Western Wall.

According to a statement released Wednesday by Israel's Foreign Ministry, Chile's Embassy in Israel said in a missive that the Chilean president and his delegation were not aware and did not agree to be formally accompanied by Palestinian officials during their visit on the Temple Mount.

Al-Hadmi's arrest comes amid heightened tensions in East Jerusalem after a 20-year-old Palestinian man, Mohammed Samir Abid, was shot by the police on Thursday in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Isawiyah, with police saying he had thrown lit firecrackers at them and endangered their lives.

Ninety Palestinians were wounded by foam-tipped bullets during clashes in Isawiyah early Saturday morning, which broke out after Abid's shooting and continued after his death. 

Al-Hadmi, a resident of East Jerusalem's Silwan, was appointed minister a month ago.

Al-Hadmi's attorney said the reason for his client's arrest is violation of Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount.

"This is a political persecution to please the far-right that opposed the visit of the Chilean president in the Al-Aqsa mosque under Palestinian auspices," al-Hadmi's attorney said.