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Israel frees Palestinian minister after brief arrest

Palestinian Minister of Jerusalem al-Quds Affairs Fadi al-Hadami (second-L) and Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera (second-R) are seen on a tour of al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in the Old City of East Jerusalem al-Quds, on June 25, 2019.

Israeli regime forces have released Palestinian Minister of Jerusalem al-Quds Affairs Fadi al-Hadami several hours after they arrested him during a raid on his home in the occupied city.

Hadami was arrested early on Sunday and was questioned, with police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirming that he had been involved in unspecified “activities in Jerusalem [al-Quds].”

His arrest was the first high-profile detention in Tel Aviv’s ongoing crackdown on the Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem al-Quds, Palestine’s Wafa news agency said in a report following the incident.

According to his lawyer, Mohannad Jbara, Hadami was freed on Sunday afternoon.

He added that the arrest was due to recent activities that included accompanying Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera during a Tuesday visit to the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in the Old City of East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Pinera was at the time visiting the occupied West Bank, the seat of the Palestinian Authority, led by President Mahmoud Abbas.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds during the Six-Day War in 1967 and later annexed it in a move not recognized by the international community.

The Palestinians, however, view al-Quds’ eastern sector as the capital of their future sovereign state.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry on Wednesday claimed that Pinera’s visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound with senior Palestinian officials had been in violation of “diplomatic procedures” and previous agreements.

However, Chile countered that Pinera’s tour of the compound was private, with Hadami’s presence not having been part of official protocol.

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