Israeli occupation forces have prevented Palestinians in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of occupied Jerusalem from celebrating the birthdays of two children, Iyad Algoj and Rani Arashq. The order came from the "Minister of Domestic Security" and cited political reasons, alleging that this celebration is part of the activities linked to "Jerusalem the capital of Arab culture 2009".
An eyewitness who did not want to be named said, "About 100 members of the Israeli security forces surrounded the venue of the celebration, stopped the activities – including the clown – and used force to stop the music." Children were apparently traumatised by what happened, he added.
The party had been organised despite the difficult social conditions, using a communal venue because the houses are not big enough to accommodate such events.
The families of the children denied that there was a link between celebrating the birthdays and the celebration of Jerusalem as the capital of Arab culture 2009. They expressed their dismay that the Israeli occupying forces had stooped so low and prevented their children from having fun on this happy occasion.
Source: Jerusalem Press Service