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Clashes in Jerusalem as Israeli forces shut down Arafat event

Nov. 11, 2013 9:05 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 12, 2013 12:30 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces and intelligence officers stormed a sports club in the Silwan neighborhood of Jerusalem and dispersed Palestinians who were commemorating the ninth anniversary of late president Yasser Arafat's death.

Witnesses told Ma’an that large numbers of Israeli officers stormed the club and forced commemorators to leave immediately. The forces presented an order signed by the Israeli minister of interior banning the commemoration.

“After I was notified that on Nov. 11, 2013, the Palestinian Authority was sponsoring a celebration at Silwan club commemorating Yasser Arafat’s anniversary, without a license or a written permission, I hereby ban the activity in the club or any other location in Jerusalem,” the order read.

Fatah's secretary-general in Jerusalem Omar Shalabi denounced the ban and highlighted that Israeli soldiers handed summons to Maamoon Abbasi, Anas Abbasi, Muhammad Abu Swayy and Ghadyan Qemary.

Clashes broke near the club between Israeli forces and young Palestinian men. The Israelis fired stun grenades at the commemorators and as a result a motorcyclist, who was driving nearby, was injured by shrapnel.

Israel police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Ma'an that police officers responding to a "banned event" in Silwan came under attack from Palestinian rock-throwers.

He said Israeli forces responded using stun grenades but denied anyone was injured.

Jerusalem activists launched balloons shaped as Palestinian flags as well as photos of Arafat.

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