JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces reportedly prevented Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem from holding two cultural events to celebrate International Women’s Day on Wednesday.
Israeli Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan issued an order forbidding the two events, organized by the Women For Life and Democracy association and al-Mortaqa Women Organization to commemorate the holiday, for being sponsored by Palestinian Authority (PA), the two organizations said.
Women For Life and Democracy media coordinator Ahmad Jalajil told Ma’an that the organization was surprised when Israeli forces raided the Saint George Hotel, where the event was supposed to be held, and prevented Palestinian women from accessing the venue.
The director of the association, Zuhour Abu Mayyala, was also interrogated by Israeli intelligence forces.
Jalajil rejected Israeli claims that the event was organized or sponsored by the PA.
“This is an unfair, occupational procedure attempting to control Jerusalem in every way and limit Palestinian presence there,” he said.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces also raided the al-Hamra Palace on Salah al-Din Street in East Jerusalem, where al-Mortaqa was holding an event.
The security forces checked the IDs of the participants, registered their names, and forced them to leave the venue.
Al-Mortaqa administrative committee member Shirin Awida told Ma’an that Israeli forces shut down the cultural event, intended to honor Palestinian women’s achievements in Jerusalem and name the most distinguished woman of the year, despite it having been held every year since 2010.
Awida added that the event was self-funded and was unrelated to any political faction, denying the Israeli claims.
Fatah Revolutionary Council member Salwa Hadib told Ma’an that Israeli forces were unfairly suppressing Palestinian life in the holy city in an attempt to ‘Judaize’ Jerusalem, and called Israeli procedures against the two organizations a violation of international law and women’s rights.