PA: Israel closes 4 Palestinian NGOs in Jerusalem

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities have extended the closure of four Palestinian NGOs in Jerusalem for another year, the Palestinian Authority said Friday.

Police sealed the entrance of the four NGOs on Wednesday, said a statement calling the action reflective of a policy to control and undermine the role of Palestinian civil society in Jerusalem.

The NGOs provide services for Palestinian community in Jerusalem, the PA says.

The statement listed the closed institutions as the Shua’a Women Association, the Al-Quds Development Foundation, Work Without Borders, and the Saeed Educational Center.

“The closure of the four NGOs is not an isolated incident of socio-cultural repression in East Jerusalem,” the statement added. Since 2001, Israel has closed some 28 organizations serving the Palestinian community.

The closure of these and other institutions is part of a “broader policy through which the Israeli authorities seek to stifle Palestinian development in Jerusalem” and increase their control of the city, the statement said.

East Jerusalem is recognized under international law as a part of the occupied Palestinian territory over which the Palestinian people are entitled to exercise their right to self-determination, it added.

( / 02.12.2011)

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