Police Arrest Al-Aqsa Engineer and Staff

12:00 Feb 20 2014 Al-Aqsa compound, Jerusalem's Old City

by Chris Carlson - 1 of International Middle East Media Center Editorial Group

Israeli police, on Thursday, arrested an engineer and three of his staff for fixing a run-down water pipe inside al-Aqsa Mosque compound, in the Old City of Jerusalem, according to an employee of the Muslim Waqf department that runs the Mosque.

The police saw the workers fixing the water pipe and ordered them to stop under the pretext that they did not obtain permission from the police to do the work. But, when they refused, police arrested them, according to WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency.

Engineer Bassam Hallaq, in charge of restoration and renovation of al-Aqsa Mosque, refused to abide by the police order saying that they do not have the right to interfere in that work and instructed the workers to continue with the restoration of the water pipe, said the source.

As a result, police arrested Hallaq along with Raed Zughayar, Husam Seder and Ali Bkeirat.

Israel is trying to prevent the Muslim Waqf from doing any restoration inside the Mosque compound, claiming that any work should be cleared with the relevant Israeli authorities first.

The Waqf refuses to coordinate its work in the Mosque area with the Israelis, and says Israel has no right to interfere in Muslim affairs or property.
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