Palestinian PM Skipping East Jerusalem Event Due to Israeli Pressure

Fayyad was to appear at reception in Dahiat al-Salam marking completion of 15 new East Jerusalem schools; police issued warrant banning event at hall, leading owner to move reception to the streets.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Tuesday canceled a planned visit to an East Jerusalem neighborhood where he was to take part in a reception marking the completion of 15 area schools with Palestinian Authority money.

Fayyad apparently made the decision to skip the reception after Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch issued a warrant stating that no event could take place within Jerusalem city limits under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority.

Salam Fayyad in Ramallah. AP

"The police will act to prevent any such activity from taking place," Aharonovitch's office said in a statement.

Palestinian sources in Dahiat al-Salam, the neighborhood where the hall is located, said the police warned them that if an event were held at the venue, it would be shut down for a year.

Nasser Jubran, head of the neighborhood council, said that officers from the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories came to the hall about an hour before the owner was called in by police and said knew about the event and that they would allow it to take place. Jubran said the officers assured them they intended to keep army and police forces away from the area.

Sources in Fayyad's office initially said in response to the warrant on Monday that the Palestinian prime minister would participate in the event as planned, but that it would not be held in the hall.

The Palestinian Authority paid for a large road works project in that area several weeks ago, because residents' requests to the Jerusalem municipality had gone unheeded.

Fayyad will take part, however, in events at two schools in the neighborhood of Dahiat al-Barid, north of Jerusalem.

These two schools are on the Palestinian side of the separation fence, and are within Jerusalem's municipal limits. The other schools are in various parts of East Jerusalem, including the Old City.

The Committee on the Rights of the Child, headed by MK Danny Danon (Likud ), also is planning to tour East Jerusalem to "evaluate the involvement of the educational authorities in East Jerusalem schools."