6 Palestinians arrested for waving Hamas flags at Temple Mount
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6 Palestinians arrested for waving Hamas flags at Temple Mount

East Jerusalem residents questioned on suspicion of violating public order by calling for solidarity with terror group during Ramadan prayers

Hamas flags seized by security forces in overnight raids in East Jerusalem on May 27, 2018. (Israel Police)
Hamas flags seized by security forces in overnight raids in East Jerusalem on May 27, 2018. (Israel Police)

Israeli security forces arrested six Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem suspected of waving Hamas flags during Ramadan prayers at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, police said Sunday.

According to police, the suspects — ages 26 to 41 — disturbed the public order when they called for support and solidarity with the Gaza-based terror group during Friday afternoon prayers.

During overnight raids, security forces seized flags and other materials connected to the incident on the Temple Mount, police said.

The suspects were questioned by police and scheduled to appear later in the day before a court.

Police said they would continue to ensure Muslims are able to pray respectably at the Jerusalem holy site during Ramadan, but will “respond to any incidents of disturbances or illegal protests.”

Muslim worshipers pray near the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, located on the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem, during the second Friday prayers of the holy month of Ramadan on May 25, 2018. (AFP Photo/Ahmad Gharabli)

On Friday, the army said an estimated 87,000 Palestinians from the West Bank traveled to Jerusalem for Ramadan prayers.

It also said 8,000 Palestinians prayed at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

Ramadan, which is often a period of heightened tensions, this year comes during the ongoing weekly “March of Return” clashes on the Gaza border.

Israel says the violent protests are orchestrated by the Hamas terror group, which rules Gaza, and used as cover for attempted terror attacks and breaches of the border fence.

Palestinians face off with Israeli forces during weekly clashes along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, east of Gaza City, on May 25, 2018. (AFP Photo/Mohammed Abed)

The violent demonstrations were meant to end on May 15, but Hamas leaders have said they want them to continue. Turnout at the past two weeks’ clashes has been far smaller than previous weeks.

According to the Hamas-run health ministry, 119 Palestinians have died since the start of the weekly protests in March, which reached their peak on May 14 when 61 people died.

AFP contributed to this report.

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