Israeli forces arrest Fatah leader in Jerusalem, storm Palestinian homes

Ahram Online, Tuesday 25 Nov 2014

Local Fatah leader Adnan Ghaith among a number of Palestinians arrested in raids by Israeli police

An Israeli border policeman fires a tear gas canister during clashes with protesters opposing Israeli restrictions on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, at the Qalandia checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 (Photo: AP)

Israeli forces have arrested local Fatah leader Adnan Ghaith and his brother, Egyptian state news agency MENA reported.

"Forces stormed the homes of Ghaith and his brother in the Silwan neighbourhood of East Jerusalem," MENA said.

Arrests were also made in other areas of Jerusalem, Palestinian Maan news agency reported.

Israeli forces arrested Mahmoud Zidan and Younis Alian from their homes in Al-Aisawya village.

In addition, five Palestinian teenagers and one young man were arrested late Monday after stabbing an Israeli settler at Bab Al-Khalil in the Jerusalem's Old City, Maan reported.

Last Tuesday, two armed Palestinians burst into a synagogue in Jerusalem and killed five Israelis before being shot dead. While the international community condemned the assault, Hamas and Islamic Jihad hailed the attack.

The leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) – which claimed responsibility for the attack – also defended the operation.

Its military wing, the Abu Ali Mostafa Brigades, said in a statement that the attack was carried out as a "natural response to the crimes of the [Israeli] occupiers," AFP reported.

Tensions between Palestinians and Israelis have been escalating during the last few months due to Palestinian fears of Israel authorising Jewish prayers inside Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest place to Muslims, as Tel Aviv continues its settlement plans in the occupied West Bank.

Earlier in November, Israel's interior ministry approved the construction of about 500 new settlements in East Jerusalem.

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