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Israeli Police Arrest Arab Man For Alleged Incitement in Jerusalem

By VOA News
07 October 2009

Israeli police have arrested an Arab man on charges of incitement in connection with recent violence in Jerusalem's Old City.

Authorities say they arrested Raed Salah, the leader of the militant wing of the Islamic Movement, on Tuesday. He has been arrested on similar charges many times in the past.

There have been repeated clashes between police and Palestinian protesters at the compound that is home to both the Al-Aqsa mosque and Judaism's holiest site, the Western Wall.

Salah told Ha'aretz newspaper Monday that only Muslims have rights to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and East Jerusalem. He said the clashes would continue as long as, in his words, Israel occupies the city and the mosque.

Israeli authorities continue to restrict Muslims' access to the Al-Aqsa mosque, citing security concerns.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat Tuesday accused Israel of, in his words "lighting matches in the hope of sparking a fire."

Also Tuesday, thousands of Israeli security officers patrolled the streets for the annual Jerusalem March.

There were no reports of violence as Israelis and international visitors walked the 12-kilometer route that cuts through tense neighborhoods near Jerusalem's Old City.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Jewish worshippers in white prayer shawls have gathered at the Western Wall to mark the week-long holiday of Sukkot.

The holiday started on October 2 and ends on October 9.

Currently, Israeli authorities are only permitting Muslim men over the age of 50 and all Muslim women to worship at the compound where both the mosque and Western Wall are located.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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