Israel Breaks Up East Jerusalem Women's Day Event, Claiming It's Affiliated With PA

The police order was signed by Public Security Amir Ohana, who said the event was organized by the PA; organizers said was run by local women in East Jerusalem

Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson
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Police officers dispersing crowds at the International Women's Day event in East Jerusalem earlier today.
Police officers dispersing crowds at the International Women's Day event in East Jerusalem earlier today. Credit: Silwanic
Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

At the instruction of Public Security Minister Amir Ohana, the police dispersed an event on Monday in East Jerusalem in honor of International Women’s Day. The order signed by Ohana claimed the event was connected to the Palestinian Authority but the event’s organizers say it has no connection to the PA and was planned by the women in the neighborhood.

In the last few years, Jerusalem police have dispersed any event in East Jerusalem where there was even the slightest suspicion of PA involvement, per the law for the implementation of the Oslo Accords that prohibits any PA activity in the city.

Among the events that were forcibly disbanded were a soccer tournament, an event marking the 50th anniversary of Al-Makassed Hospital, press conferences and children’s festivals.

The event on Monday morning was held in the women’s center in the A-Tur neighborhood. 20-30 women were present when a large number of police officers arrived and ordered them to disperse. Two of the organizers were taken in for questioning.

Social activists from the neighborhood say the center has no connection with the PA. It operates in a building that belongs to the local soccer team and is partially funded by a Swiss organization. “They consider anything that isn’t under the municipality illegal activity,” one activist said.

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