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Israel arrests Palestinian governor of Jerusalem

Updated April 15, 2019

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Israeli police arrested the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem on Sunday after he allegedly violated an order previously given to him by authorities, police and his lawyer said. — Reuters/File
Israeli police arrested the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem on Sunday after he allegedly violated an order previously given to him by authorities, police and his lawyer said. — Reuters/File

JERUSALEM: Israeli police arrested the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem on Sunday after he allegedly violated an order previously given to him by authorities, police and his lawyer said.

The governor, Adnan Gheith, has been arrested several times in recent months in connection with an investigation related to a land sale.

His lawyer Mohammed Mahmud said he had been given a six-month order not to visit the occupied West Bank or contact certain people there, and police accused him of violating the order.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed Gheith had been arrested and was being questioned, but could not provide further details.

Official Palestinian news agency WAFA said he was released later and given a 1,000-shekel fine ($280, 250 euros).

Police had previously investigated Gheith over suspicions he was involved in the Palestinian Authority’s arrest in October of American-Palestinian Issam Akel, who was accused of involvement in selling an east Jerusalem building to Jewish buyers.

Such sales are considered treasonous among Palestinians concerned with Israeli settlers buying property in annexed east Jerusalem.

Palestinian officials have condemned his arrests and claimed it was intended to pressure the Palestinian leadership over Akel’s case.

Akel was sentenced to life by a Palestinian court, but he was reportedly later allowed to leave to the United States.

Israel occupied east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the international community.

It considers the entire city its capital, while the Palestinians see the eastern sector as the capital of their future state.

PA activities are barred from Jerusalem by Israel.

As a result, the PA has a minister for Jerusalem affairs and a Jerusalem governor located in Al-Ram, just on the other side of Israel’s separation wall from the city in the occupied West Bank.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2019