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Israel shuts down Palestinian event in Jerusalem

March 1, 2011 12:04 P.M. (Updated: March 2, 2011 8:47 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli police and intelligence agents forcibly shut down two events in East Jerusalem on Tuesday morning, citing "security reasons" for the clampdown.

Armed police and border guards prevented guests from entering a conference on "Defending Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem" at the Capitol Hotel on Salah Addin Street in Jerusalem, organizers said.

Police handed organizers a warrant signed by minister of internal security Yitzhaq Ahronovitch addressed to the hotel administration. The warrant warned that the meeting was banned for "security reasons."

According to organizers, the one-day event was a conference and workshop for Palestinian Authority officials, leaders of non-profit organizations, and political officials. Agenda items included ways to protect residents of the Silwan from evictions and demotions.

Head of the coalition for defending Palestinians’ rights in Jerusalem Zakariyya Udah told Ma’an that police confiscated ID cards of all who attended the conference and took down their numbers before informing the hotel the conference was prohibited.

On Monday night, a similar order signed by the minister of internal security was delivered to organizers of a conference scheduled for the following day. The event was slated for the Al-Bustan protest tent in Silwan, where organizers were preparing to announce the establishment of a new youth union in Jerusalem.

The order was delivered when a unit of armed border guards and police entered the home of the conference organizer in Silwan, warning him of "legal consequences" if the event went ahead.

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