The Israel Police arrested 32 residents of east Jerusalem on Monday morning, the latest in a series of measures against Palestinian Authority civilian and security officials who are believed to be carrying out various illegal activities in east Jerusalem.The 32 individuals are suspected of supporting and serving in the Palestinian Authority Security Forces.Police noted that the suspects have Israeli ID cards. Some of the suspects receive benefits from the State of Israel and they all acted contrary to Section 7 of the 1993 Oslo Accords Law, which prohibits enlistment in the armed forces of the Palestinian Authority.The suspects were questioned by the Jerusalem District Police and were set to appear before the Jerusalem court later in the day. During the search of the suspects’ homes police seized tens of thousands of shekels in cash; various types of uniforms, ammunition, various military equipment; and various certificates, photographs & documents.
“Israel Police operations will continue in order to prevent illegal activity by residents of east Jerusalem and illegal actively connected to the Palestinian authorities,” Israel Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.The Israel Police crackdown is aimed at punishing PA officials for targeting east Jerusalem residents involved in real estate transactions with Israeli Jews. On Sunday, for the second time in the past month, the Israel Police arrested the Palestinian Authority governor of Jerusalem, Adnan Geith. The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ordered him remanded into custody for five days. Geith, a prominent Fatah official, was appointed to the post last August by PA President Mahmoud Abbas. A 1995 law passed by the Knesset bans the PA from carrying out political or security-related activities within the area of Israel, including east Jerusalem.Last month, PA Security Forces arrested Esam Aqel, a US citizen from east Jerusalem, for his alleged role in the sale of an Arab-owned house in the Old City of Jerusalem to an Israeli Jewish organization. Following his arrest, the Israel Police arrested Geith for four days on suspicion he was involved in the arrest of the US citizen. The commander of the PA General Intelligence Service in the Jerusalem area, Jihad Faqeeh, was arrested by the IDF, also for his role in the case.In recent weeks, the PA and its security forces have been waging a campaign against east Jerusalem residents suspected of involvement in the sale of houses to Israeli Jews. The PA government has formed a commission of inquiry into the recent sale of a house belonging to the Joudeh family in the Old City’s Muslim Quarter to an Israeli Jewish organization. The Palestinian religious authorities in the city have also renewed a fatwa (Islamic religious decree) prohibiting the sale of Arab-owned properties to Israeli Jews.The grand mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein, on Sunday condemned the arrest of Geith and the measures taken against PA officials in the city as “unfair.” The Israeli measures, he said, are a “flagrant violation of international and humanitarian laws.”Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.
Police arrest PA offcials (credit: Israel Police)