Monday, November 1, 2010

Israel bans Palestinian PM from East Jerusalem event

Public Security Minister Aharonovitch issues warrant forbidding the participation of Palestinian PM Fayyad in ceremony marking PA-sponsored school renovations.

Israel is banning Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad from attending a Palestinian Authority-sponsored event in East Jerusalem, Haaretz learned on Monday.

Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch to prevent the planned visit with the organization's website saying it was "committed to protecting human rights in Israel, ensuring sound government, and preserving the national integrity of the State of Israel and the Jewish people."
Fayyad was scheduled to make an appearance on Tuesday at two East Jerusalem schools to mark the PA-sponsored renovation of 15 educational institutions in the city. The reception and ceremony was to take place in the Dahyat al-Salam neighborhood.
On Monday, however, Jerusalem policemen arrived at the Dahyat al-Salam reception hall, handing over a warrant signed by Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, according to which PA-sponsored events were forbidden on Israeli soil.

In the warrant, the Yisrael Beiteinu minister stated that "under the powers vested in me by section 3 of the law, I order the prevention of such an event from taking place in Jerusalem, or anywhere in Israel…as well as order anyone related to the event to prevent it from taking place."
Palestinian eyewitnesses reported that the Jerusalem policemen told the owner of the Dahyat al-Salam hall that his place of business would be closed for a year if he went ahead with the event.
In response to Aharonovitch's warrant, Fayyad's office assured the event would indeed take place, only outside of the said Dahyat al-Salam hall.
According to the published schedule, the Palestinian PM is to arrive at Dahyat al-Salam at 10:00 A.M, later continuing to a another school at the Dahyat al-Barid neighborhood, situated just north of Neve Yaakov.
While both schools are located north of the West Bank separation fence, on he "Palestinian side," they are considered part of the Jerusalem municipality, with the PA-sponsored renovations being the second such effort in recent weeks.
Recently, the PA had also sponsored the renovation of East Jerusalem roads after residents claimed repeated appeals to the Jerusalem municipality were left unanswered.
The left-leaning NGO Ir Amim said in response to the warrant that "the Palestinain Authority would not have invested in the renovation of schools and roads if it wasn't for the neglect by the State of Israel."
"It is regrettable that the Israeli government insists to continue its hostile attitude toward the Palestinian Authority, even at the price of collapsing East Jerusalem into poverty and neglect," Ir Amim said.
The head of the Forum for the Land of Israel, Noci Eyal, applauded the move to block Fayyad's participation, saying the organization was happy "that our appeal regarding this issue was accepted by the minister."
"Now it must be checked how the PA was allowed to renovate schools in the capital, and whether it is taking other illegal steps," Eyal said, adding that the PA "mustn't be allowed to intervene in the renovation of roads and public structures – it is against the law and an injury to Israel's sovereignty."

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