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Obstruction of Civil Society Activity
Since the closing of the Orient House in 2001, Palestinian civil society in Jerusalem has not recovered. The Temple Mount area and other holy sites in the Old City remain the only places under Palestinian control in Jerusalem.
In the months following Annapolis, the Israeli government continued to take actions aimed at restricting Palestinian liberty in the city and preventing the redevelopment of an active civil society in East Jerusalem. Since the Summit, police have prevented the occurrence of ten religious, social or political gatherings in East Jerusalem, among them an event to mark Palestinian Teachers Day and a youth event.
In response to Ir Amim's inquiry, district police spokesman, assistant superintendent Shmulik Ben Roby, confirmed police prohibition of these events following the orders of the Minister of Internal Security and the Police Commissioner. (Only the closing of the Social Forum in Sur Baher was closed on the orders of the Minister of Defense.) The reason cited for the prevention orders was intelligence information that these gatherings represented activity of the Palestinian Authority, which is deemed illegal in Jerusalem. In the case of Sur Baher, intelligence information indicated that the event was an Islamic activity.