Israel police release Palestinian governor of Jerusalem

Israel police release Palestinian governor of Jerusalem
2 min read
07 April, 2020
Israeli police released the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem after he spent 24 hours in detention for "illegal" political activities that he said was connected to the coronavirus fight.
Israel occupied east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War (Getty)

Israeli police released the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem on Monday after he spent 24 hours in detention for "illegal" political activities that he said was connected to the coronavirus fight.

"If we must pay to protect our people and their security and to limit the spread of coronavirus, then this is the least evil," Adnan Ghaith said in a video posted on social media shortly after his release.

He was detained over efforts by his office to curb the epidemic, which has contaminated 250 people in the Palestinian territories, according to his lawyer, Rami Othman, who did not elaborate.

The governor's deputy, Abdullah Siyam, told AFP that Ghaith was freed on bail payment of 15,000 shekels ($4,200).

Israel detained Ghaith on Sunday for the seventh time in 18 months, over what police said was "Palestinian activity in Jerusalem, which is illegal".

Read more: Negligence in crisis: Palestinian citizens of Israel 'not being tested for coronavirus'

A video on social media showed Ghaith, wearing rubber gloves and smoking a cigarette, being escorted by police out of his east Jerusalem home.

A body representing various Palestinian factions in Jerusalem said he had been working to ensure Palestinians in the city had supplies needed for protection against Covid-19.

Israel occupied east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognised 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.

Israel bans all Palestinian Authority activities in the city.

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 an Israeli wall that separates the city and the occupied West Bank.

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