Israel puts kibosh on PA event at East Jerusalem hospital
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Israel puts kibosh on PA event at East Jerusalem hospital

Public security minister orders ban on 50th anniversary celebration for Makassed Hospital, says symbols of Palestinian sovereignty undermine Israeli authority in capital

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Palestinians leave the Makassed hospital in East Jerusalem, September 9, 2018. (Mahmoud Illean/AP)
Palestinians leave the Makassed hospital in East Jerusalem, September 9, 2018. (Mahmoud Illean/AP)

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdanbanned an event scheduled for Monday at an East Jerusalem hospital because it was organized under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority and would include symbols of Palestinian sovereignty in Israel’s capital.

The event was to mark the 50th anniversary since the founding of the Makassed Hospital and to celebrate the opening of new departments at the medical center, the Palestine News Network reported.

“The Palestinian Authority continues to try to undermine Israeli sovereignty in East Jerusalem and weaken it by replacing it with institutions that operate under Palestinian sponsorship and funding,” Erdan said in a statement from his ministry. “I will not allow this and will continue to act vigorously to prevent any violation of Israeli sovereignty in all parts of our capital Jerusalem.”

The event was to have included “symbols of Palestinian sovereignty such as the playing of the Palestinian Authority national anthem, political speeches in the name of the Palestinian Authority and participation of senior Palestinians,” the statement said.

Among those scheduled to attend were PA Health Minister Jawad Awwad and the PA minister in charge of Jerusalem affairs, Adnan Husseini.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan speaks at a ceremony for a new municipal police station in Beit Shemesh, January 7, 2019. (Yaakov Lederman/Flash90)

The ministry statement noted that the ongoing activities of the hospital would not be affected by the ban.

Referring to the 1994 Cairo Agreement that laid out the framework of Palestinian autonomy, Erdan’s ministry said the terms forbid the PA “from opening or operating a representative office or to hold gatherings of activities within the State of Israel, and empowers the public security minister to ban such events.”

In recent years, Erdan has issued a number of similar bans, including orders to stop a commemorative event in East Jerusalem financed by the PA, as well as a conference in the Silwan neighborhood that promoted the Palestinian takeover of East Jerusalem, the ministry said.

Last year, he also extended an order to close the Orient House building, which was formerly used by PA’s institutions, and is an icon of Palestinian sovereignty in the city. The building’s operations were shut down by Israel in 2001.

Both Israel and the Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital. Israel captured  East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed it. It sees the entire city as its sovereign capital. Palestinians want the East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.

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