Piñera’s Visit to Jerusalem Results in Arrest of Palestinian Minister

JERUSALEM – The Palestinian Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, Fadi al-Hadami, was arrested on Sunday and held for several hours by Israelian security forces. The arrest came days after he accompanied Chilean President Sebastián Piñera on a visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque. According to Israel, al-Hadami’s presence during Piñera’s visit undermined Israel’s sovereignty.

The minister was detained after a raid on his home early Sunday morning. His lawyer later stated that his arrested was connected to his presence during Piñera’s visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque a few days earlier. He called the arrest of his client a political persecution “to please the far-right that opposed the visit of the Chilean president to the Al-Aqsa Mosque under Palestinian auspices.”

A Violation Of Regulations

Piñera’s visited the mosque as part of his state visit last week. He was accompanied by al-Hadami and other Palestinian officials, causing outrage among Israelian politicians. The mosque is a sensitive nerve in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, because it is a very holy place to both Judaism and Islam.

The Israelian Foreign Ministry called the visit a violation of regulations and said the presence of Palestinian officials undermined Israel’s sovereignty over the eastern part of Jerusalem.

The next day, the Chilean president offered his apologies to President Reuven Rivlin while the Foreign Ministry received a formal letter from the Chilean Embassy, explaining that Pinera’s visit to the Al-Aqsa mosque was no official visit, but a private one.

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