Israeli police have detained Palestinian presidential candidate Mustafa Barghouti on his way to prayers in occupied east Jerusalem.

Witnesses say several Israeli police officers forced Mr. Barghouti into a police car outside the entrance to the walled Old City today (Friday) as he headed to the al-Aqsa mosque for Friday prayers.

It was the second time during the campaign Mr. Barghouti was detained by Jerusalem police.

Israel has promised to allow free and fair Palestinian elections on January 9th, and has agreed to limited campaigning in east Jerusalem, which Palestinians want for a future capital. But Israel insists that only Palestinians with proper permits be allowed into the disputed city.

Palestine Liberation Organization leader Mahmoud Abbas -- the leading candidate -- canceled a planned campaign stop in east Jerusalem Friday. An official with the Abbas campaign said Israeli security arrangements would have embarrassed him