Israel bans Arab celebration of Jerusalem

March 22, 2009 at 1:28 AM
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JERUSALEM, India, March 22 (UPI) -- Israeli Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter banned the Palestinian Authority from holding events to celebrate Jerusalem as a "capital of Arab culture."

At least eight events were canceled and 20 people detained for questioning, Ynetnews reported. They included two women working at Al-Quds university who had handed out material advertising the events.

Dichter ordered police Friday to "suppress any attempts by the PA to hold events in Jerusalem and throughout the rest of the country." He said under existing agreements, the authority cannot sponsor events inside Israel proper.

Jerusalem is a critical issue between Israel and the Palestinians. While the Israeli government wants the city to remain undivided, Palestinians propose restoring the pre-1967 border, which cut Jerusalem in two, with East Jerusalem as capital of a Palestinian state.

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