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The New Arab

Israel releases Palestine's Jerusalem governor from detention

Adnan Ghaith has been released [Getty]

Date of publication: 28 February, 2019

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Jerusalem Governor Adnan Ghaith was released after Israeli security services failed to justify his detention to the Magistrate Court.

Israel’s Magistrate Court has ordered release of Palestinian Jerusalem governor after he was taken from his neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem during overnight raids.

Adnan Ghaith was taken from from the occupied neighbourhood of Silwan and was among 22 Palestinians arrested overnight in raids in East Jerusalem on Wednesday.

The court rejected the detention of Ghaith, giving the Israeli security apparatus until 6pm local time to appeal the decision. When the deadline had passed without an appeal, Ghaith’s release was ordered.

The remaining 21 Palestinians detained were from the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of al-Essawiya. No news has emerged of their release.

The detentions came as scuffles between worshippers and police over access to a side building in the compound closed by Israel since 2003 took place.

Arguing there was no longer any reason for it to remain closed, Palestinains reopened the building on Friday and crowds of worshippers prayed inside despite an Israeli order barring access.

The building is known as the Golden Gate or Gate or Bab al-Rahma, Arabic for the Gate of Mercy.

Masjid al-Aqsa is the third-holiest in Islam and a focus of Palestinian aspirations for statehood.

It is also the location of Judaism's most holy spot - Jews refer to it as the Temple Mount - and a frequent scene of conflict between the two sides.

Muslim worshippers' access to al-Aqsa and the adjoining Dome of the Rock is controlled by Israeli security forces.

The religious site is located in east Jerusalem, occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed in a move never recognised by the international community.

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