West Silwan elementary school 521.
(photo credit: Melanie Lidman: West Silwan elementary school)
Jerusalem police closed two institutions in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of
Silwan on Sunday afternoon, after police said the institutions were associated
with Hamas and terrorist activities.
Around noon, police closed a soccer
club and a charity, following the directive of Police Insp.-Gen. Yohanan
The buildings will be closed for 30 days, after which police will
reexamine the situation.
Both of the institutions have an opportunity to
appeal the police decision.
Police closed 10 offices and institutions in
the past year due to intelligence that the offices are either fronts for Hamas
activity or funded by Hamas. In September, police closed the Najat Kindergarten
in Abu Tor, which they said housed Hamas activities, just days before the school
year started. Sixty children were left without places for the school year, and
some children are still at home four months later because all local
kindergartens were filled and their parents cannot afford to send them to
Last Monday, police arrested two Hamas politicians
who had been hiding in the Red Cross offices in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood
for over a year and a half. Undercover officers entered the Red Cross compound
and arrested the two members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Khaled
Abu-Arafa and Muhammad Totah. The men did not resist arrest.
used the Red Cross as a hideout since the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency)
ordered them to leave the city last year after having their Jerusalem residency
revoked.Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.