Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan has “proposed a new bill that would impose a maximum sentence of up to three years in prison for those who sponsor, finance, support or organise activities for the Palestinian Authority (PA)” in occupied East Jerusalem, reported Asharq Al-Awsat.
Currently, Israeli law “prohibits organisation of activities in favour of the PA in Jerusalem, but does not penalise those who organize such activities”. Erdan has thus “proposed a series of penalties amounting to 3 years imprisonment to completely prevent such activities.”
According to the report, Erdan has made the move after being briefed by the Shin Bet that “Palestinian activities in East Jerusalem have increased recently”, including “demonstrations, festivals and political seminars”.
The minister claims that the legislative amendment “will dramatically enhance the deterrence of those cooperating with the PA”, preventing “foothold of the Palestinian Authority in Jerusalem”.
In recent years, Israeli authorities have conducted dozens of campaigns of political repression against supposedly PA-linked activities in occupied East Jerusalem, including the detention of activists, intellectuals and officials.
Three months ago, the report noted, Israel banned a cultural activity in the French Cultural Centre in East Jerusalem, “causing a diplomatic problem with the French Foreign Ministry, which summoned the Israeli ambassador to Paris, Aliza Bin Noun”.