Israel breaks up PA-led conference in East Jerusalem, arrests local governor

Public security minister says meeting in Ras al-Amud sought to advance PA efforts to erode Israeli sovereignty over capital’s east

Palestinians detained by police for taking part in a conference in East Jerusalem, November 1, 2018 (Courtesy)
Palestinians detained by police for taking part in a conference in East Jerusalem, November 1, 2018 (Courtesy)

Police on Thursday night broke up an East Jerusalem conference it said was organized by the Palestinian Authority and detained several people involved, with Israeli officials accusing organizers of seeking to erode Israeli sovereignty in the city.

Police said two people suspected of assaulting officers were arrested, and PA Jerusalem Governor Adnan Ghaith was detained for questioning.

According to a statement by the Public Security Ministry, the meeting at the Ras al-Amud neighborhood was intended to advance efforts for “the Palestinian takeover of East Jerusalem.”

It noted that the PA was forbidden by Israeli law to “act in Israeli territory.”

Minister of Internal Security Gilad Erdan attends an Internal Affairs committee in the Knesset on July 2, 2018. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said, “The Palestinian Authority has recently intensified efforts to gnaw at our sovereignty in Jerusalem and is acting to create facts on the ground. I will continue to act with determination to prevent any violation of Israeli sovereignty in all parts of our capital Jerusalem.”

Though East Jerusalem is mostly populated by Palestinians, Israel considers it part of its territory.

Palestinian Authority Jerusalem Governor Adnan Ghaith. (Screenshot: YouTube)

Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War and annexed the area in a move that is not internationally recognized. It views East Jerusalem an inseparable part of its capital, while the Palestinians seek the area as the capital of a future state.

Ghaith was briefly held by Israel in October on suspicions he helped abduct a Palestinian resident of the capital.

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