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Police break up ‘illegal’ East Jerusalem International Women’s Day event

Cops say exhibition of traditional clothing and objects made by women at the A-Tur Women’s Center was a Palestinian Authority event and therefore against the law

Israel Police close down an International Women's Day event at the A-Tur Women's Center in East Jerusalem, March 8, 2021 (Courtesy)
Israel Police close down an International Women's Day event at the A-Tur Women's Center in East Jerusalem, March 8, 2021 (Courtesy)

Israel Police on Monday broke up an event at a women’s center in East Jerusalem to mark International Women’s Day, saying it was being held illegally.

“This was a Palestinian Authority event, and illegal by law. The Public Security Ministry issued an order declaring it as such, and police executed the order,” spokesperson Roni Markovitz said.

The Palestinian Wafa news agency reported that the head of the A-Tur Women’s Center, Ikhlas Sayyad, and clothes designer Manal Abu Sbeitan were detained in the raid on an exhibition of traditional Palestinian clothes and objects made by women.

The left-wing Ir Amim nonprofit said in a statement that video from the raid showed equipment being confiscated.

Israel Police close down an International Women’s Day event at the A-Tur Women’s Center in East Jerusalem, March 8, 2021 (Courtesy)

Markovitz said that no fines had been issued and no arrests had taken place, to his knowledge.

Israel banned the Palestinian Authority from carrying out official business in East Jerusalem in 2001, in accordance with the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip that prohibits the PA from operating in Israeli territory.

Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in the Six Day War of 1967 and later extended sovereignty over it in a move never recognized by most of the international community. It considers the entire city its capital, while the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

In a rare move in 2019, Israeli authorities entered a French culture center in Jerusalem to cancel a Mother’s Day event, alleging it was set to involve an association supported by the Palestinian Authority.

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