Faizel Patel, 2016-06-29
A South African man sitting for Itikaaf at the Masjid-ul-Aqsa compound in Palestine is being deported after he was detained by Israeli police.
Aadil Asmal from Azaadville, south of Johannesburg who is part of a South African delegation performing itikaaf during the last ten days of Ramadan was arrested yesterday on suspicion of throwing stones at Israeli police.
Ayoob Dadabhay, a Capetonian who is also sitting for itikaaf at Masjidul Aqsa told Voice of the Cape, Asmal is now on the way back to South Africa.
“They kept him overnight and he was released this morning. But he has been barred from coming to Al Aqsa for eight years.”
An official from the Department of International Relation and Cooperation (DIRCO) confirmed that Asmal was released after a short period of detention, but said there was no further information available.
The arrest follows violent clashes at the Al-Aqsa compound on Sunday when Palestinian worshipers clashed with Israeli police following protests against Jewish visits at the site during the blessed month of Ramadan.
Dozens of Palestinian worshipers and workers were assaulted by Israeli forces with rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas canisters, and beaten with batons.
Dadabhay believes it was a case of mistaken identity as Asmal was wearing a scarf similar to the suspect.
“They didn’t want to listen to anything he had to say. They showed him videos and he explained that the suspect in the videos was taller than him and the clothing was not the same. We believe they picked him up as he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Despite this incident, the other South Africans in Al Aqsa are doing well.