Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 August 2020

Israel investigates Palestinian Jerusalem governor over claims of 'terrorism'

Adnan Ghaith has been arrested by Israeli security forces more than 10 times in two years

Governor of Jerusalem for the Palestinian Authority Adnan Ghaith poses for a photograph in his office at the Palestinian Ministry of Jerusalem affairs' headquarters in the occupied West Bank town of al-Ram, near Jerusalem, on November 4, 2018. - Israeli forces raided the offices of the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem on November 4, authorities said, after reports of an investigation related to a land sale. Israeli authorities confirmed the raid in Al-Ram, just on the other side of Israel's separation wall from Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank, but provided few details. (Photo by Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP)
Governor of Jerusalem for the Palestinian Authority Adnan Ghaith poses for a photograph in his office at the Palestinian Ministry of Jerusalem affairs' headquarters in the occupied West Bank town of al-Ram, near Jerusalem, on November 4, 2018. - Israeli forces raided the offices of the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem on November 4, authorities said, after reports of an investigation related to a land sale. Israeli authorities confirmed the raid in Al-Ram, just on the other side of Israel's separation wall from Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank, but provided few details. (Photo by Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP)

Israel is investigating the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem over its broad-sweeping definition of "terrorism", his lawyer said on Monday.

Adnan Ghaith has been arrested by Israeli security forces more than 10 times in the past two years, including once for ensuring Palestinians had access to essential services to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Typically, Mr Ghaith has been detained over the minor offence of engaging in "illegal" political activities in the disputed city.

He has generally been released within a day or two.

But Mr Ghaith's lawyer, Mohammed Mahmoud, said that in addition to political offences, the governor was being investigated over "planning an act of terrorism," and not expected to be released soon.

Under Israeli law, the investigation does not necessarily mean he is suspected of plotting an act of violence.

It was the first time Mr Ghaith was the subject of a terrorism investigation and Israel's powerful domestic security agency, the Shin Bet, was involved in the case, Mr Mahmoud said.

Shin Bet did not immediately respond to a query about the investigation.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Mr Ghaith was arrested at his East Jerusalem home on Sunday.

"He is being questioned by security forces," Mr Rosenfeld said.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the international community.

It considers the entire city its capital, while the Palestinians see the eastern sector as capital of their future state.

Israel bans all Palestinian Authority activities in the city.

As a result, the PA has a Minister for Jerusalem Affairs and a Jerusalem Governor in Al Ram, on the other side of the Israeli wall that separates the city and the occupied West Bank.

Updated: July 21, 2020 12:55 AM

SHARE

SHARE

Editor's Picks
THE DAILY NEWSLETTER
Sign up to our daily email
Most Popular