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Middle East

Leading Palestinian religious leader Grand Mufti of Jerusalem arrested for 'encouraging religious disturbances'

Chairs were thrown at a group of Jews touring the Temple Mount, according to police

The Palestinians' leading religious figure, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammed Ahmad Hussein, was today arrested by Israeli police who accused him of encouraging recent disturbances at religious sites in the city.

Mr Ahmad Hussein, who was appointed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in 2006, was arrested at his house and was taken for questioning at a nearby police station, “on suspicion of involvement in a disturbance that took place yesterday on Temple Mount,” according to Micky Rosenfeld an Israeli police spokesman. He was later released.

“Some chairs were thrown at a group of Jews on the Temple Mount,” Mr Rosenfled said.

As many as 40 Israeli settlers were taken on a tour of the Temple Mount – a hugely significant religious site for both Muslims and Jews, on Tuesday. They were given a police escort and other worshippers and tourists were denied access to the site.