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Ra’am outraged after cops manhandle top sheikh near Temple Mount

Party says officers must be held to account after senior member of Islamic Movement was detained; police say he and his relatives fomented unrest

Police detain Sheikh Muhammad Hassan Salamah in Jerusalem's Old City, June 5, 2022 (video screenshot)
Police detain Sheikh Muhammad Hassan Salamah in Jerusalem's Old City, June 5, 2022 (video screenshot)

The Ra’am party on Sunday night accused police of assaulting a top religious figure in the Islamic Movement, after video showed cops manhandling Sheikh Muhammad Hassan Salamah in Jerusalem’s Old City.

MK Walid Taha said cops physically abused Salamah after he told them not to smoke at the entrance to the Temple Mount, the compound that houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

In a joint statement, Ra’am and the Islamic Movement it represents condemned “the lowly and cowardly attack by cops against Sheikh Salamah and his family” and demanded that officers involved in the incident face charges.

Police alleged that the sheikh and his family had “disturbed the peace,” shouting at cops and stirring unrest. They asserted that officers attempted to “maintain the calm” but that Salamah’s relatives became increasingly rowdy and violent, leading to their brief detainment.

Ra’am’s relationship with the coalition has remained fragile over events in Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in particular, where the month of Ramadan saw repeated clashes between police and Muslims.

The party froze its membership in the coalition in April over the violence, but returned to the fold in May, saying it would give the government another chance to come through for its constituents.

Sheikh Salamah had been one of the top voices calling for the party to quit the government entirely.

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