Police close two Hamas-affiliated offices in Silwan

Soccer club and charity are shuttered for 30 days after police say they are associated with the banned party, terror group.

West Silwan elementary school 521 (photo credit: Melanie Lidman: West Silwan elementary school)
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 Danino.
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 private kindergartens.
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.
They had 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.