Israeli forces have arrested the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem for unspecified offences he allegedly committed in the occupied West Bank, the Palestine Liberation Organization said Sunday.
Adnan Gheith was arrested on Saturday evening in the east Jerusalem neighbourhood Beit Hanina, the PLO said.
On Sunday morning, he was taken to the Ofer Israeli military court, where he is being detained ahead of a hearing that will take place within four days, the PLO said in a statement.
PLO secretary general Saeb Erekat said the arrest was “a new step… against the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem,” and constitutes a violation of Israel’s own terms regarding Palestinian institutions in the city.
“The threats and detentions against Palestinian political and community leaders, including the abduction of Governor Gheith, should only be taken as part of Israel’s plan to eliminate any foundations for a political solution based on two-states on the 1967 border,” Erekat said in a statement.
The Israeli army had no immediate comment. Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld would only say that “two people were arrested and there is an ongoing investigation taking place”.
Israel occupied east Jerusalem along with the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War and later declared the entire city its united capital.
Palestinians claim the predominantly Arab eastern area as the capital of a future Palestinian state. The PLO operated in Jerusalem from the Orient House, which Israel shut down in 2000.