Israeli police arrested Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, on Wednesday in the Old City of Jerusalem after he tried to force his way into the archeological site near the Temple Mount.
Salah has called for an Intifada (uprising) over the archeological dig by the Jerusalem holy site.
Member of Knesset (parliament) Taleb A-Sanaa criticized Salah’s arrest and demanded that the sheikh be released immediately.
“This is a political arrest and the decision is a mistake, like other decisions in a string of mistakes,” he said. “The solution is not the arrest of Sheikh Salah, but rather a halt to the excavations that pose a threat to the peace and stability in the area.”
For the second day police restricted Moslems from entering the Temple Mount. Only those with Israeli IDs and over the age of 45 had access.
Protests began as construction continued of a new bridge leading through the Mugrabi Gate to the Temple Mount.
Adnan Husseini, head of the Wakf, described the situation as “very volatile” and said that Israel would pay a heavy price for the excavation work.