Israel rearrests Palestinian Jerusalem governor


JERUSALEM: Israeli police arrested the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem for the second time in as many months, a spokesman said Sunday, after reports of an investigation related to a land sale.

Adnan Gheith was arrested in east Jerusalem overnight, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said in a statement, without providing further details.

Israeli security forces would not comment beyond saying the arrest had to do with money-related issues.

Gheith will be brought for a remand hearing in the Jerusalem magistrate’s court later in the day and details of the allegations against him may be released then.

On Oct. 20, Gheith was detained for two days of questioning before being released, with Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security agency saying it was over “illegal activity by the (Palestinian Authority) in Jerusalem.”

He was also taken for questioning a number of times in recent weeks and his office was raided on November 4.

Israeli media have reported that authorities have been investigating the governor following the PA’s arrest of a man in October accused of being involved in selling property in east Jerusalem to a Jewish buyer.

Such sales are considered treasonous among Palestinians concerned with Israeli settlers buying property in east Jerusalem.

But among Israelis, there have been calls for authorities to free the man arrested by the PA over the sale.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz has reported that the man is a Palestinian with US citizenship.
Fuad Hallaq, a senior adviser to the Palestine Liberation Organization in Jerusalem, told AFP that he believed the latest arrest was part of Israeli efforts to pressure the Palestinian leadership to release the man.

Israel occupied east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognized by the international community.

It considers the entire city its capital, while the Palestinians see the eastern sector as the capital of their future state.

Palestinian Authority activities are barred from Jerusalem by Israel.

As a result, the PA has a minister for Jerusalem affairs and a Jerusalem governor located in Al-Ram, just on the other side of Israel’s separation wall from Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank.

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