Israeli police arrest 2 Palestinian girls in Jerusalem

By Fatna Abu Sbeitan

JERUSALEM (AA) – Israeli police on Sunday detained two Palestinian girls as they left East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

“Police forces held my 15-year-old daughter shortly after leaving the mosque,” her mother Jihad al-Razzam told Anadolu Agency.

She said her 21-year-old niece was also detained.

No information was yet available about the reason of their detention.

Earlier, Israeli forces arrested an employee with Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, a Jordan-run organization responsible for overseeing the city's Islamic sites.

Tension has mounted in the Palestinian territories — including occupied East Jerusalem, where the Al-Aqsa is located — since U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

For Muslims, the Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount", claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem might eventually serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the Jewish state in a move never recognized by the international community.

Last year, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling on the U.S. to withdraw its recognition of the flashpoint city as Israel's capital.

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