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Monday, March 23, 2009

Israeli Police arrest Sheikh Raed Salah

Israeli Police arrest Sheikh Raed Salah

In recent days, Israel has increased aggressive treatment of Palestinians within Jerusalem. Following the announcement of Jerusalem as the ‘Capital of Arab Culture’ 2009, Israeli police prohibited and prevented any celebrations within the city. Dozens of Palestinians have been arrested for trying to celebrate their cultural heritage within Jerusalem.

Arrest and Harassment

Sheikh Raed Salah, the Mayor of Umm al-Fahm, was arrested during a press conference in Jerusalem held by the family of wounded American activists Tristan Anderson. Tristan was shot in the head with a tear gas canister by Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank while he was peacefully demonstrating against the building of the Wall.

The press conference was deemed ‘illegal’ by Israeli authorities, desperate to keep details about the circumstances of Tristan’s severe injury away from the international public. When it was nevertheless held, police officers raided the area beating several journalists and activists and making several arrests.

The arrest of the prominent leader Sheikh Raed Salah has drawn sharp criticism from Palestinians, who claim that the actions of Israel in recent days confirms accusations levelled against the state of a deliberate move to ‘Judaise’ Jerusalem and remove all Palestinian heritage from the area.