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Israel police detain top Palestinian Muslim cleric

JERUSALEM – Israeli police have detained the top Muslim cleric in the Palestinian territories and are questioning him over latest disturbances at a Jerusalem shrine.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says Mufti Mohammed Hussein was detained on Wednesday.

Rosenfeld says Muslim worshipers threw rocks and chairs at tourists visiting a shrine at a contested Jerusalem site Tuesday. He wouldn’t elaborate on what the Mufti’s alleged involvement in the incident was, saying the cleric could be released later.

Senior clerics are rarely detained in Jerusalem.

The contested site, where the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is built above the ruins of the biblical Jewish Temples, is one of the region’s most sensitive and its fate is at the heart of the conflict.

Israeli steps to quell Palestinian disturbances there have led to riots in the past.