The Palestinian government has decried Israel's arrest of Jerusalem Governor Adnan Ghaith in a raid in the occupied city yesterday. "The governor's arrest is part of [Israel's] continued policy of targeting the occupied city, its people and holy sites," government spokesman Yousuf al-Mahmoud said in a statement.
Israeli forces detained Ghaith in a dawn raid on his home in Silwan neighborhood in east Jerusalem yesterday. The Israeli military did not provide any details about the reason for the governor's detention.
The Palestinian spokesman accused Israeli authorities "of seeking to impose its hegemony and creating the impression that it has the upper hand in Jerusalem."
"Jerusalem represents a symbol of existence and survival in the Palestinian, Arab and Islamic conscience," he said. On Thursday, Israeli authorities banned Ghaith from entering the occupied West Bank for a six-month period. Last month, the Jerusalem governor was arrested by Israeli forces and held in prison for two days before being released. Jerusalem remains at the heart of the decades-long Mideast conflict, with Palestinians hoping that east Jerusalem, occupied by Israel since 1967, might one day serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.
International law continues to view east Jerusalem, along with the entire West Bank, as "occupied territories" and considers all Jewish settlement construction there as illegal.