Israel arrested and then later released on Sunday the Palestinian Authority's Jerusalem affairs minister, Fadi al-Hamdi.
Israeli policemen came to al-Hamdi's house in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan at dawn and conducted searches before arresting him and taking him in for questioning, Palestinian reports said. The grounds for al-Hadmi's detention remain unclear.
This is the third time that the Palestinian minister was arrested by Israeli authorities since taking up his post as part of prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh's new government in April. His previous detention happened on September 25; Israeli security forces said he had been arrested for planning to participate in a PA-sponsored event in Jerusalem.
He was also arrested in late June, a few days after accompanying the Chilean ambassador on a visit to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, which had angered the Israeli government. According to him, the reason given for the arrest were "violating sovereignty."
Over the past few years, police have raided press conferences, book launches, sports meets, children's festivals, and other events, based on a law passed as part of the Oslo peace process which bars the Palestinian Authority from holding or sponsoring events in Jerusalem.
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