PAX contact in East Jerusalem Dawoud al-Ghoul was released on conditions yesterday after his arrest had been extended twice. Unfortunately the release doesn’t mean the case is over. While no charges have been filed against him, conditions including house arrest, financial bail and contact limitation have been imposed pending an ongoing investigation.
Israeli security forces arrested three Palestinian cultural leaders last week in East Jerusalem. Rania Elias, director of the Yabous cultural centre and Suhail Khoury, director of the Edward Said National Conservatory for Music, were released the same day but Dawoud al-Ghoul, head of the Jerusalem Arts Network, remained in custody until yesterday.
Anna Timmerman, PAX director: “PAX knows Dawoud as a leading Palestinian civil society figure in the cultural field in East Jerusalem, we see the arrest as part of the Israeli strategy to suppress Palestinian civic space and presence in East Jerusalem. PAX calls on international actors to continue monitoring and raising the case of Dawoud, Rania Elias and Suhail Khoury and the broader context of suppression of Palestinian civic space in East Jerusalem with Israeli authorities.”
East Jerusalem is specifically targeted by Israeli authorities with actions suppressing the civic space. The Palestinian Authority’s governor of East Jerusalem, Mr. Adnan Ghaith, has already been arrested three times this year without the Israeli authorities giving a clear reason. Similarly, Fadi al-Hadimi, the Jerusalem Affairs Minister of the Palestinian Authority, has already been arrested four times this year with no details about the arrests provided. Another example of suppression of civic space in Jerusalem was the closure of the Barbur gallery after they hosted Breaking the Silence, an organization that collects testimonies from former Israel Defense Forces soldiers about alleged human rights violations.Middle East