Israel Made Preemptive Arrest of Protester Against Jerusalem Marathon

Mahmoud Abu Humus told the police: 'Israel must not hold a marathon in a place that’s Palestinian and the whole world says is Palestinian.’

Demonstrators against holding part of the Jerusalem Marathon in the city's east. French Hill, March 18, 2016.
Guy Hirschfeld

An East Jerusalem resident was detained for most of Friday to prevent him from organizing a protest against the holding of part of the Jerusalem Marathon in the east of the city, he said.

In addition to Mahmoud Abu Humus, two other residents of the Isawiyah neighborhood were arrested. The police said the three were detained “on suspicion of disturbances unconnected to the marathon.”

According to Abu Humus, the police came to his home at 4 A.M. and took him to a police station.

“Between 4 and 11 they sat me in a room and kept telling me the investigator was on his way,” he said. “At 10 in the evening the investigator showed up and asked me why we wanted to disrupt the marathon. I said the marathon was political and Israel must not hold a marathon in a place that’s Palestinian and the whole world says is Palestinian.”

Abu Humus was released after an hour of questioning.

Isawiyah leaders as well as Israeli and international activists demonstrated at the marathon in the French Hill neighborhood. Protesters carried a sign saying the race was a political event aimed at making the occupation invisible.