Israeli settlers 'storm religious shrines' in Palestinian village
Sources said that Israeli forces closed entrances and exits to the town to Palestinians as settlers charged into the area and desecrated the Prophet Thu Al-Kifl, Prophet Thu An-Noon and Prophet Yosha shrines, WAFA news agency reported.
It came hours after Israeli forces arrested Sheikh Ekrima Sabri, the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the current preacher of Al-Aqsa Mosque, while an extremist rabbi stormed the holy site.
Israeli police and intelligence officers surrounded Sabri's house and ordered him to accompany them to detention.
"The Israelis did not give any reason for his arrest," said one of Sabri's relatives, who declined to be named for security reasons.
Israel has occupied the West Bank illegally since 1967, committing various crimes against Palestinian civilians, monitors say.
More than 600,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in constructions considered illegal under international law.
Often, Israel forces Palestinians to demolish their own homes under the pretext of not having a building permit.
Applications for building permits are also known to take years to be processed, giving Israeli courts a loophole to increase Palestinian home demolitions by branding structures as "illegal".
Four-out-of-five Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem live under the poverty line, and applying for building permits comes with various taxes and fees amounting to tens of thousands of dollars.