Police: Palestinian cultural event failed
Senior official says Jerusalem Police managed to halt all 'capital of Arab culture' events in city, will be on the lookout in order to prevent similar festivals in future
Various events were held Saturday in different places across the country to mark the opening of the "Jerusalem – capital of the Arab culture" events, but in Jerusalem itself the police prepared in advance
and managed to thwart all the planned activities sponsored by the Palestinian Authority.
"What happened today was a complete failure as far as the Palestinian Authority is concerned," concluded a senior Jerusalem Police official.
"All of their attempts to hold a rally or parade failed. The Palestinians also say they have failed. We'll continue to be on the lookout with a lot of intelligence," the source told Ynet.
"We'll thwart any attempt to carry out further Palestinian Authority events in the eastern part of the city, both through intelligence and investigations and with orders signed by the internal security minister," he added.
Any PA activity in Jerusalem is against the law and the agreements signed between Israel
and the Palestinians.
The Jerusalem Police completed its preparations for foiling the Palestinian cultural festival as early as Friday morning. Hundreds of police and Border Guard officers, commanded by Jerusalem District Commander Aharon Franco, began deploying in east Jerusalem, the Old City and nearby villages in the early morning hours.
In total, 21 activists were detained for questioning
in east Jerusalem and the Old City, including senior PA official Hatem Abdel Kader.
Activities for children across from the Old City walls (Photo: AP)
"We had real-time intelligence about any event taking place in east Jerusalem, in the villages or in the Old City," added the police officials.
"Nine rallies slated to take place in the neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah, a-Tur, Wadi Joz and the eastern part of the city were stopped as they began. Parades about to start with hundreds of people were halted, and 21 activists were detained for questioning and turned over to the Jerusalem District's Minorities Division.
"All those involved are suspected of violating the Implementation Law (law of implementing the interim agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority)."
According to the senior official, the climax of the events was slated to take place at the Ras al-Amud neighborhood, inside a convent, and the activists had even began setting up a stage in the area. On the stage they had planned to place a large torch brought from Syria
and light it up when evening fell.
"We waited for them to set up the stage, and then we detained all those present for questioning," said the source.
No violent events were recorded throughout the day. "I hope our activity deters them and they think twice before trying to hold future rallies," the source concluded." We will continue to be on the lookout. If they try and carry out further events, we'll thwart them."