Israel arrests Palestinian Minister of Jerusalem Affairs

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police said yesterday they arrested the Palestinian Minister of Jerusalem Affairs for conducting political activity in east Jerusalem.

Fadi al-Hadami was charged with allegedly breaking a law prohibiting political activity in Jerusalem by the Palestinian Authority (PA), which is based in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said al-Hadami was detained early yesterday. The PA-appointed Governor of Jerusalem, Adnan Gheit, is also being sought for the same offence.

Palestinian official Adnan Husseini countered that the arrest was meant to stop “social and cultural activities”.

Al-Hadami was last arrested on similar grounds in June.

The PA appoints officials for east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war and later annexed. But aside from some day-to-day affairs, their role is mostly symbolic, as Israel maintains full control over the city.

The fate of the city, which is home to holy sites sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians, is at the heart of the decades-old conflict. The Palestinians want east Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state, while Israel views the entire city as its unified capital.