The six suspects are expected to appear in front of a judge for a remand hearing later today.
Hamas scarf found in a suspect’s home Photo Credit: Israel Police Spokesperson
Six East Jerusalem residents were arrested early Sunday morning on suspicions of hanging up Hamas flags, showing support for a terrorist group and disturbing the peace in the Temple Mount during Friday’s prayers.
At the homes of the suspects, police officers found Hamas scarves, posters and flyers. The Israel Police stated that the suspects are currently being questioned and will appear in front of a judge later today for a remand hearing. In a statement, the Israel Police said that it will continue to allow Muslims to pray at the Temple Mount and carry out their religious rituals but warned that its officers “will not tolerate any provocation.”
The incident took place on the second Friday of Ramadan, the holy Islamic month during which Muslims fasts from dawn to sunset. Before the month began, Israel announced that Palestinians in the West Bank would find it easier to travel to Jerusalem during Ramadan because it had decided to relax travel restrictions.
The first Friday of Ramadan fell on May 18, four days after the US moved its embassy to Jerusalem. While Israeli security forces had prepared for violent clashes in East Jerusalem and the Old City, the Muslim worshipers in the city dispersed after the prayer services without incident.
On the same day, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) decided to set up a commission of inquiry to look into the clashes along the Gaza Strip border and mass border protests on Monday that resulted in over 60 Palestinian rioters being killed by Israeli troops. The resolution passed with 29 votes in favor and 14 abstentions. The two countries that opposed the resolution were the US and Australia.
The council explained that an investigation should be launched in light of the high number of fatalities and also condemned “the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians.”
Israel’s Foreign Ministry denounced the resolution in a statement released shortly after the vote. “This decision proves once again that the council is a body with an automatic anti-Israeli majority dominated by hypocrisy and absurdity,” the ministry said. “The results of the investigation are well known in advance and it is clear to all that the purpose of the council is not to investigate the truth, but to violate Israel’s right to self-defense and to demonize the Jewish state.”