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Monday, March 23, 2009

Israeli Police Arrests Head of Islamic Movement's Northern Branch

23/03/2009 | AlmanarTV

The Israeli police completed its preparations for foiling the Palestinian cultural festival as early as Friday morning. Hundreds of Israeli police and Border Guard officers, commanded by Jerusalem District Commander Aharon Franco, began deploying in occupied east Jerusalem, the Old City and nearby villages in the early morning hours.

In total, 21 activists were detained for questioning in occupied east Jerusalem and the Old City, including senior PA official Hatem Abdel Kader.

Islamic Palestinian leader, Sheikh Raed Salah, was arrested along with his bodyguard on Monday afternoon after he allegedly tried to assault Israeli police officers in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied east Jerusalem.

Sheikh Salah, who heads the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in the occupied territories, has already had several run-ins with the law. Israeli police took him into custody after ordering the illegal rally being staged in Sheikh Jarrah be dispersed. The unauthorized gathering was part of a series of events marking the Arab League's declaration of occupied Jerusalem as this year's 'capital of Arab culture.'

Islamic Movement spokesman, Zahi Nujidat slammed the arrest as "unacceptable," and accused Israel of trampling "every last value."

Nujidat said that Sheikh Salah's arrest "is another step towards the Judaization of (occupied) Jerusalem. No one here broke the law, the sole intent was to establish a committee to deal with everything surrounding the declaration of (occupied) Jerusalem as the capital of Palestinian culture."

Over the course of the weekend police prepared to stop all activities under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority.

A senior Jerusalem police official summarized the day's events as "a resolute failure on the part of the Palestinian Authority.

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