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ADC, ACJ Strongly Protest Arrest of Sari Nusseibeh

WASHINGTON, DC — The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and the American Committee on Jerusalem (ACJ) strongly object to Israel’s arrest of Sari Nusseibeh, the senior Palestinian political representative in Jerusalem, for hosting a reception marking the Muslim holiday Eid El-Fitr on Sunday. Uzi Landau, Israel’s internal security minister, claimed that the orange juice and cookies reception was a “terrorist activity” that would “erode Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem.” Nusseibeh was released without being charged after about an hour.
Today the New York Times quotes Zeev Boim, a leading member of the ruling Likud Party, as saying that Israel objected to Nusseibeh’s moderate and conciliatory views since “If he is a moderate, he is also dangerous.” On August 10, Israeli occupation forces seized Orient House, the unofficial headquarters of Palestinian political activity in the occupied East Jerusalem, in an effort to destroy all Palestinian collective organization in the city. Sunday’s actions represent a further escalation of this policy, preventing even receptions in hotels by politically active Palestinians in the occupied Holy City.
ADC President and ACJ Chair Ziad Asali said “this move is clearly designed to enforce Israel’s military occupation and prevent the Palestinian population of East Jerusalem from exercising any organized form of collective political activity whatsoever. It is outrageous that occupation troops would arrest residents living under its control for seeking to hold a reception in a hotel simply to mark a major religious holiday. The occupation authorities have no right to behave in this manner. The clear message to the Palestinians of occupied East Jerusalem is not to have any hope of political representation or organization of any kind.”
Israel claims to have annexed occupied East Jerusalem following its capture in the 1967 war, but the international community, including the United States, does not recognize Jerusalem as part of Israel. Rather, numerous UN Security Council resolutions, including 242, 476, and 1322, the last having been passed on October 7, 2000, identify Israel as “the Occupying Power” in East Jerusalem, as well as the West Bank and Gaza Strip.