Israeli occupation forces raided a French government-linked cultural centre in East Jerusalem to shut down a Mother’s Day event, reported AFP.
According to the report, “an order posted on the door of the building by Israeli authorities said that the centre…intended to host an event organised with a women’s association ‘sponsored or financed by the Palestinian Authority [PA]’ and ‘without authorisation’.”
“In a rare move”, Israeli forces actually entered the French foreign ministry-associated centre, a source “with the French consulate” told AFP.
Israel considers any PA activity in occupied East Jerusalem, or events supported by the PA, to be illegal and a challenge to its sovereignty claim in the illegally-annexed part of the city.
“The consulate could not confirm if the association was indeed financed by the PA, but Palestinians who were to participate in the event said the allegation was false,” AFP added.
The diplomatic source said that “after police arrived, France’s consul general went immediately and protested against the action at an institute ‘belonging to our diplomatic and cultural network’.”
According to the association, its director and a volunteer were briefly detained. “It was an event related to Mother’s Day” and to sell crafts made by women from Jerusalem, said one of the women who was to participate, declining to give her name.