Israeli forces arrested Palestine’s Jerusalem Affairs Minister Fadi Al-Hadami earlier today for allegedly violating an Israeli ban on Palestinian political activities in occupied East Jerusalem.
The Jerusalem Affairs Ministry said in a statement that Israeli police raided the minister’s house in the Silwan neighbourhood of Jerusalem and took him into custody.
According to the Times of Israel, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld claimed Al-Hadami was arrested “on suspicions of Palestinian activities in Jerusalem”.
He said police searched the home and confiscated documents as well as “large sums of money”.
His office confirmed that the Israeli officers stole 10,000 shekels ($2,750) and circulated a surveillance camera footage showing several officers storming his home, ransacking his belongings with dogs while smashing his windows.
In addition, PA Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh confirmed the arrest and noted that Al-Hadami was taken to a nearby Israeli interrogation centre.
He called for Al-Hadami’s immediate release and also urged the World Health Organisation to condemn Al-Hadami’s arrest as “it constitutes an attack on the organisation’s protocols in facing the pandemic,” reported Wafa news agency, in reference to the coronavirus.
He wrote: “Israel targets those who work for Jerusalem, even at such critical moments as we work to save our people’s lives from COVID-19. This morning, its occupying forces arrested the Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, Fadi Al-Hadami, after raiding his house. We demand his immediate release.”
Israel targets who work for #Jerusalem, even at such critical moments as we work to save our people's lives from #COVID19. This morning, its occupying forces arrested the Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, Fadi Al-Hidmi, after raiding his house. We demand his immediate release.
— Dr. Mohammad Shtayyeh د. محمد اشتية (@DrShtayyeh) April 3, 2020
Palestinian officials said Al-Hadami was working to assist residents as part of their response to the coronavirus pandemic.
He has been arrested four times since assuming office in April 2019, the grounds for his last arrest in November still remain unclear.
Meanwhile, Israeli military vehicles raided Yaabad town, southwest of Jenin, where soldiers detained four Palestinians, including three teens.