Israeli Police Release Muftis of Jerusalem, Ramallah After Questioning

Published September 15th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

Israeli police in Jerusalem released on Friday the muftis of Jerusalem and Ramallah after an hour of investigation, reported Haaretz newspaper. 

Mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Ikrema Sabri was held Friday afternoon on suspicion of meeting this week with the secretary general of the Lebanese Hizbollah movement, Hassan Nasrallah, and for suspected incitement against Israel in remarks made during sermons in Al Aqsa Mosque about three weeks ago, said the paper.  

The mufti was detained by Jerusalem police investigators at the end of Friday prayers at the holy mosque and was taken to a station for questioning.  

Sabri said in sermons that the White House would turn black, with God's help, and that America, England and Israel should be destroyed, Israel Radio quoted him as saying at the time.  

The mufti is a senior appointee of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat. His detention was seen as another Israeli challenge to the Palestinian Authority's efforts to establish a presence in the disputed city.  

Police said that Sabri was being questioned on suspicion of having contact with a foreign agent, travel without a permit to an enemy country and incitement.  

Police also detained the mufti of Ramallah after he allegedly arrived at the holy mosque without a permit to enter Jerusalem.  

Police said the investigation would continue and that the Ramallah mufti had been warned not to enter Jerusalem again without a permit.  

Sabri was also asked about a recent meeting in Lebanon with Nasrallah. Police spokeman Shmuel Ben-Ruby alleged that Sabri and Nasrallah had been coordinating militant positions vis-a-vis Israel, according to the paper.  

The mufti was released after questioning, but the investigation is continuing, Ben-Ruby said –  




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