Arafat tribute festival in Jerusalem
Fatah senior official Dimitri Diliani announced that an Arafat tribute by artists was stopped by Israel in Jerusalem. Diliani explained: “On Sunday evening?armed military forces confiscated all equipment used in the festival
commemorating the anniversary of the leader Yasser Arafat’s death.”
The member of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council added that the Israeli forces “forcefully removed hundreds of participants from the premises” at the event set up by the Jerusalem Federation of Folkloric Dabke Troupes.
“We condemn the repressive methods practiced by occupation forces against the Jerusalem artists who wished to express their sentiments towards their late leader and the flagrant aggression against Gaza in a peaceful, cultural manner,” Diliani said.
Describing Israel as “the occupying state that falsely claims Jerusalem for its capital,” Diliani slammed it for “using martial laws to repress freedom.” The Fatah official added that this behaviour “should prove to those who make this fraudulent claim that Jerusalem is not and will never be the capital of the occupying state.”? Diliani questioned: “Is there a state in the world that describes itself as democratic that uses martial laws to repress freedom in an area it claims to be its capital?”
Stressing that “repressive measures have never deterred the national movement,” Diliani said that these measures “are escalating against Jerusalemites, especially concurrent with the flagrant aggression against Gaza and the leadership’s appeal to the United Nations for the status of observer state.”
Israeli military forces shuttered the National Palestinian Theatre in Jerusalem on Sunday evening and removed all those present from the premises. It also stopped a meeting that was set to be held in a room adjacent to the main stage to discuss theatre affairs. The forces removed from the premises all those attending the meeting; including artists, members of the local cultural elite and national leaders.
Israeli police have said that the decision to shut the theatre down came from military orders.