ADDS ARREST OF FIVE PALESTINIANS
By Abdel Raouf Arnaout
JERUSALEM (AA) - Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock Mosque was reopened to Muslim worshippers on Monday evening following an hours-long siege by Israeli police, one of the mosque's Palestinian guards told Anadolu Agency.
“Police have withdrawn from the area, allowing worshippers to enter the mosque," the guard, speaking anonymously as he was not authorized to talk to media, said.
Shortly after the mosque was reopened, however, five Palestinians -- including three mosque guards -- were detained by police as they left the area, according to an Anadolu Agency correspondent based in the area.
The Israeli authorities, for their part, have yet to issue a statement confirming the reported arrests.
Earlier Monday, Israeli police had imposed a siege on the Dome of the Rock, located inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, sparking tensions between police and Palestinian worshippers.
According to Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for Jerusalem’s Religious Endowments Authority, the incident began earlier Monday when Palestinian guards shut the mosque after an Israeli policeman tried to enter the site without permission.