The Israel Police arrested and, after a brief interrogation, released Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, head of the Supreme Islamic Council in Jerusalem, after he told women in his weekly sermon that they should refrain from contacting the Israel Police on family-related issues.
In an interview with the Felesteen Al-Yawm website, which is affiliated with the Islamic Jihad, Sabri said after leaving the investigation that "we have the right, and the ones who have the right are strong and will never be afraid.”
Sabri accused Israel of striving to curb the activities of the clerics, intervene in the affairs of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and exercise the ability of the police to manage eastern Jerusalem and its residents.
Sabri said in this context that the Palestinian Arab clerics have the authority to deal with family and society disputes in general, emphasizing the prohibition on contacting Israeli police or courts matters concerning the residents of eastern Jerusalem.
In the past, Sabri has rejected the demand for Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, saying it is "unacceptable".
In 2014, he declared that Al-Aqsa was a “red line” for Arabs, adding, “We will not give up even one grain of earth (at the Al-Aqsa Mosque), since the Jews have no connection to it whatsoever.”
Last year Sabri accused "extremist" Jewish organizations of waging a legal battle aimed at achieving Israeli sovereignty in the Al-Aqsa Mosque.