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Israel Shuts Down Palestinian Institutions In East Jerusalem

Israel Shuts Down Palestinian Institutions In East Jerusalem

Saturday, 3 February, 2018 - 07:30
Oded Balilty / AP

The Israeli authorities decided on Friday to shut down a number of Palestinian institutions operating in the occupied city of East Jerusalem.

Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan extended the order against a number of Palestinian institutions, including the Orient House, in East Jerusalem due to their affiliation to the Palestinian Authority.

The Israeli decision anticipated an expected decision from the PA to announce the city of Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian State.

Israeli sources said on Friday that Erdan’s order does not only involve political institutions, but also include a number of vital civil institutions, the East Jerusalem Chamber of Commerce, the Supreme Council for the Arab Tourism Industry, the Center for Palestinian Studies, the Palestinian Prisoners' Club, and the Office for Social and Statistical Studies.

The sources said that the decision is based on an Israeli law issued in 1994, and which prevents the Palestinian Authority to open representational offices or to exert any activity inside Israeli areas.

The law also grants the Interior Minister the power to issue decisions that prohibit such activities.

Erdan said that "the struggle for sovereignty over all parts of Jerusalem continues all the time, and the Palestinian Authority is trying to undermine Israel's sovereignty in our capital consistently. I will not allow it."

The Israeli minister added that he had noticed that after President Donald Trump's Jerusalem declaration in December, the PA increased efforts to renew operations in Jerusalem, and transferred funds to its representatives there.

Meanwhile, the occupying Israeli municipality in Jerusalem began to impose taxes on church and UN properties in the occupied East Jerusalem.

The decision affects 887 properties, which belong to Christian churches and UN.

It is estimated that the municipality will earn 650 million shekels ($191 million) from the new policy.

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