Palestinian Authority Minister Arrested for Alleged Illegal Activities

YERUSHALAYIM (AP) -

Israeli police arrested the Palestinian Authority’s minister for Yerushalayim for allegedly violating an Israeli ban on Palestinian political activities in the eastern part of the city.

Fadi al-Hidmi was arrested at his home near Har Zeisim. His office circulated surveillance camera footage showing police searching his home with dogs. It said they confiscated 10,000 shekels (around $2,750). It was the fourth time he has been arrested.

Israel bars the Palestinian Authority from operating in the capital or carrying out any political activities there.

Palestinian officials claimed al-Hidmi was working to assist residents as part of their response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh tweeted: “We demand his immediate release.”

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said al-Hidmi was arrested “on suspicions of Palestinian activities in Yerushalayim.” He confirmed that police searched the home and confiscated documents as well as “large sums of money.”

He said the arrest was not connected to any efforts to combat the pandemic.