Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the security establishment on Monday to prevent the Palestinian Authority from conducting ceremonies and organizing events anywhere within the limits of the Jerusalem Municipality.
The instruction followed an order signed by Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch stating that Israeli law prohibits Palestinian Authority officials from taking part in political activities within Israeli territory without first obtaining special permission.
Aharonovitch's order came following reports that Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad was due to arrive in east Jerusalem on Tuesday to attend dedication ceremonies for two schools as well as a new road project.
About a year-and-a-half ago police succeeded in dispersing a number of small events held in east Jerusalem as part of the Palestinian Culture Festival, meant to declare the city "the capital of Arabic culture for 2009." More than 20 people were arrested, including Sheikh Raed Salah, the head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel.
Then-Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter signed a number of injunctions banning a series of events that were scheduled to be held in Jerusalem, Nazareth and in other parts of the country under the auspices of the PA.
Dichter instructed Israel Police to "suppress any attempts by the PA to hold events in Jerusalem and throughout the rest of the country." According to the minister, the events would constitute a violation of the interim agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, which includes a clause that forbids the PA from organizing events in Israeli territory.
Attila Somfalvi and Yair Altman contributed to the report
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