JERUSALEM (JTA) – Jerusalem police shut down events scheduled for a Palestinian Authority-sponsored festival.
The Palestinian Culture Festival, to honor Jerusalem as the "capital of Arab culture," kicked off Saturday in the Palestinian headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Events were scheduled as well for Jerusalem, Nazareth, Bethlehem, Gaza and Lebanon.
Jerusalem police on Saturday shut down at least eight events and arrested 20 organizers of the events. It is illegal for the Palestinian Authority to hold events in the municipality of Jerusalem or other areas under Israeli sovereignty, according to agreements signed by Israel and the P.A.
"I guess the occupation feels threatened by the Palestinian culture and narrative," Israeli lawmaker Ahmed Tibi of the United Arab List-Ta’al told Ynet. "This is a struggle between occupying police and the songs of freedom, and the song will win in the end."