PA Arrests Palestinian for Hosting Right-wing Israeli Lawmaker

The Hebron resident was picked up by Palestinian security forces after photos of his meeting with Likud MK Yehuda Glick were published

Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick.
Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick. Emil Salman

The Palestinian security services arrested a Palestinian resident of Hebron on Sunday because he hosted Likud Knesset member Yehuda Glick at his home.

Glick visited Mohammed Saber Jabbar on September 3 in honor of the Muslim holiday of Id al-Adha and later published pictures of their meeting.

The Palestinian security services didn’t say why Jabbar was arrested or what, if any, crime he is suspected of. But sources close to the Hebron branch of the Palestinian police said they assumed he was arrested for meeting with Glick, whom Palestinians view as a radical right-wing activist because he visits the Temple Mount regularly and has long campaigned for Jews to be allowed to pray there.

The sources added that unless grounds for indicting him are found, they expect Jabbar to be released in a few days, as has happened with other Palestinians arrested for meeting or engaging in joint activities with settlers.

Jabbar’s family said in a statement issued via mosques and social media that they had severed all contact with him over his meeting with Glick.

Glick said Jabbar’s arrest was senseless and once again proves that the Palestinian Authority doesn’t want peace.

“He’s a peace activist whom I met via the head of the Ahmadiyya community in Haifa,” Glick said, referring to the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam. “I went to wish him a happy holiday on Id al-Adha, and I regret that this is what happened.”

He added that he has asked the head of the army’s Central Command and other Israeli officials to urge the PA to release Jabbar immediately.

Also on Sunday, the PA security services freed Issa Amro, a leading anti-settlement activist in Hebron. Amro had been arrested eight days earlier because he criticized the PA on Facebook. He has been indicted, but was released on bail.

Amro told Haaretz he was charged under Article 20 of the new cybercrime law that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas approved two months ago. Several other Palestinians who criticized the PA on social media have also been arrested under that provision in the last two months.

“There’s no doubt this is a severe infringement on freedom of expression,” Amro said. “I’m facing serious charges like disturbing the peace, publishing things that damage the social fabric and incitement against the PA, and I intend to contest them in court.”