Police shut East Jerusalem soccer tournament, claiming it had ties to PA
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Police shut East Jerusalem soccer tournament, claiming it had ties to PA

Organizers insist Ramallah not sponsoring games, remove signs that would have suggested its endorsement; event canceled for second time this month

Illustrative: Young Arab boys play football in the alleyways of the Muslim quarters in Jerusalem's Old City on April 8, 2016. (Corinna Kern/Flash90)
Illustrative: Young Arab boys play football in the alleyways of the Muslim quarters in Jerusalem's Old City on April 8, 2016. (Corinna Kern/Flash90)

Police shut down a soccer tournament for Palestinian families in East Jerusalem on Saturday for the second time this month, claiming the event was sponsored by the Palestinian Authority.

The organizers insisted that the tournament was not tied to the PA and said that they had removed all signs at the event that could have hinted at such.

Nonetheless, police decided to shut down the tournament in the Old City of Jerusalem as it did on August 20 as well.

Earlier this month, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan issued a directive to the police, which he oversees, ordering them to quash any PA-sponsored activities in the eastern part of the capital, in accordance with the Oslo Accords.

In a High Court of Justice hearing earlier this week, the judges ruled that the previous event had been funded by the Palestinian Football Association headed by Jibril Rajoub.

During the session, the judges were presented with evidence that they said could not be made public but proved that the tournament had been sponsored by the PFA and that the event’s intention had been to undermine Israeli sovereignty in East Jerusalem.

Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed it. Most of the international community has never recognized the annexation, though US President Donald Trump’s administration became the first to do so in 2017.

The Israeli government sees all of Jerusalem as its undivided capital, while the Palestinians see East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

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