Israel arrests senior Waqf official in Jerusalem

Sheikh Najeh Bakirat, the Deputy Director of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf (Twitter)

Middle East Monitor  /  November 24, 2021

Israeli police detained Sheikh Najeh Bakirat, the Deputy Director of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, near the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, according to eyewitnesses, Anadolu News Agency reports.

No reason was given for Bakirat’s arrest and Israeli police have yet to comment.

The Jordan-run Jerusalem Islamic Waqf is responsible for overseeing the holy sites in East Jerusalem.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the Temple Mount, claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, a move never recognized by the international community.