Police Threaten to Shut East Jerusalem Hall if It Hosts PA's Fayyad

Public Security Minister Aharonovitch issues warrant forbidding the participation of Palestinian PM Fayyad in ceremony marking PA-sponsored school renovations.

Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch issued a warrant banning a reception scheduled for Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad at an East Jerusalem hall. The reception is scheduled to mark the completion of renovations at 15 East Jerusalem schools with Palestinian Authority money.

Fayyad also is scheduled to visit two schools in Jerusalem's municipal territory today.

Salam Fayyad AP

Yesterday, police called the hall owner to the Russian Compound police station, where he was handed a warrant banning the event, signed by Aharonovitch.

The warrant states that no event can take place within Jerusalem city limits under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority.

Aharonovitch's office said in a statment, "Given Salam Fayyad's planned visit to East Jerusalem territory tomorrow along with other Palestinian Authority officials, the minister issued warrants to prevent PA officials from holding activities in Israeli territory without receiving special permission. The police will act to prevent any such activity from taking place."

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 about an hour before the owner was called in by police, officers from the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories had come to say they knew about the event and that they would allow it to take place. Jubran said the officers said they intended to keep army and police forces away from the area.

In response to the warrant, Jubran said the event would be held in the neighborhood's main street, not at the hall.

The neighborhood, in the southern Shuafat refugee camp, is within Jerusalem municipal limits but is on the Palestinian side of the separation fence.

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.

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

Fayyad is scheduled to visit the neighborhood at 10 A.M. today and then to continue on to two schools in the neighborhood of Dahiat al-Barid, north of the neighborhood of Neveh Yaakov.

These two schools are on the Palestinian side of the separation fence, but 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."