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Israel intensifies attacks on Palestinian activities, institutions in East Jerusalem

A man carries a Palestinian flag as a reaction to demolition of some of Palestinian houses by Israel in Sur Baher town on the southeastern outskirts of East Jerusalem on 2 August 2019. [Wisam Hashlamoun - Anadolu Agency]
A man carries a Palestinian flag as a reaction to demolition of some of Palestinian houses by Israel in Sur Baher town on the southeastern outskirts of East Jerusalem on 2 August 2019. [Wisam Hashlamoun - Anadolu Agency]

Israeli authorities have been intensifying their attacks on Palestinian activities and institutions in occupied East Jerusalem, reported Al-Monitor, citing a number of recent incidents.

On 5 August, Israeli forces prevented a memorial service for the Palestinian writer Subhi Ghosheh from taking place at the Yabous Cultural Centre, assaulting participants and summoning a number for interrogation.

The next day, Israeli forces stopped a ceremony from being held in honour of the late athlete Ahmad Adilah at The East Jerusalem YMCA, while on 17 August, a lecture on the Israeli demolition of Jerusalemite homes at the Burj Luqluq Social Centre Society was also shutdown.

According to the report, these actions are a result of Minister of Internal Security Gilad Ardan’s 5 August order “to extend the closure of Palestinian institutions in the city and prohibit any cultural or political activities held by Palestinian organisations”.

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“The decision deems such events terror activities that violate Israeli sovereignty and laws in the city”, Al-Monitor added.

Ziad al-Hammouri, director of the Jerusalem Centre for Social and Economic Rights, himself interrogated on 8 August, said such steps were “a prelude to the enactment of an Israeli law that sentences any Jerusalemite with ties to the PA [Palestinian Authority] to up to three years in prison in an effort to clamp down on Jerusalemites”.

Adnan al-Husseini, a member of the PLO Executive Committee in charge of Jerusalem affairs, told Al-Monitor “that the Israeli harassment and actions in East Jerusalem are becoming more severe in the wake of the Jerusalem-related US decisions”.

He added that “the US decisions on Jerusalem serve as a green light for Israel to further encroach upon the rights of Palestinians”, encouraging “Israel to make many racist decisions, expand its settlement activities, demolish houses and close institutions”.

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