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Jewish man arrested after entering Church of Holy Sepulchre with knife

Police say suspect, who caused brief panic during Christmas Mass, is mentally ill, release him after questioning

Illustrative: Catholic priests carry palm fronds at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditionally believed by many Christians to be the site of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ, in Jerusalem's old city, Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Illustrative: Catholic priests carry palm fronds at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditionally believed by many Christians to be the site of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ, in Jerusalem's old city, Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

A young Jewish man in possession of a large kitchen knife was arrested inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre after causing panic during Christmas Mass at the Jerusalem holy site, police said Wednesday.

A police spokesman said that the man was mentally unstable.

He was released from police custody following questioning.

It was not immediately clear if he had threatened the worshippers with the weapon.

The church, in the Old City of Jerusalem, is built at the site where Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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