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Palestinians protest Israel's closure of institutions in East Jerusalem

November 27, 2019 at 11:53 am

Palestinians gather in front of the Education Directorate during a demonstration to protest against Israeli raids towards Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem on 26 November 2019 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinians yesterday protested in occupied East Jerusalem against the Israeli authorities’ closure of several Palestinian institutions in the Old City, reported Middle East Eye.

On 20 November, Israeli occupation authorities shuttered institutions, including the offices of Palestine TV, Orient House, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club and others, on the justification that they are funded by the Palestinian Authority (PA).

East Jerusalem has been occupied by Israel since 1967, with occupation authorities prohibiting the PA from operating or organising in the illegally-annexed territory.

The protest took place outside Al-Aytam school in the Old City, which also hosts the offices of the PA Ministry of Education. It has now been closed for six months on the order of the Israeli government.

READ: Jerusalemites protest against continuous Israel ‘aggression’

Palestinian teacher Areej Jamjoom told Middle East Eye: “We want to preserve our culture and fight the Israeli culture that is imposing a fabricated historical narrative of Jerusalem, and wants to impose ungenuine facts on the grounds in the city.”

Ahmed Safadi, a member of the Palestinians Teachers’ Union, said that closing the office of the Ministry of Education will impact 50 schools and 100,000 students in occupied East Jerusalem.

Political analyst Rasim Obiedat told Middle East Eye that the Israeli occupation authorities “want to cleanse any Arab or Muslim traces in the city, so it will all look Israeli. It goes far beyond closing down branches of PA institutions.”

Obiedat also linked the recent wave of closures with the Trump administration’s policy shift on Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.

“The Israelis want to invest in these US pro-Israel decisions in Jerusalem and the West Bank. We are facing an extremist Israeli government and an extremist society. The decision to shut down Palestinian institutions in the city is political,” Obiedat said.

READ: Israel to close UNRWA schools in Jerusalem to end refugee ‘lie’