Closing the “Mapping” office in the Arabic Studies Association and arresting its director
March 14, 2017

The occupation authorities closed on Tuesday morning the Mapping office in the Arabic Studies Association in the neighborhood of Beit Hanina north of Jerusalem and arrested its director, Khalil Tafakji.

Large Israeli forces including intelligence personnel and Special Forces raided the Mapping office in Beit Hanina, searched it and confiscated its contents before arresting its director. They closed the office for six months based on an order issued by the Minister of Internal Security, Gilad Ardan, under the pretext of being sponsored by the Palestinian Authority which contradicts with the law of the transitional phase agreements for the West Bank and Gaza Strip signed in 1994.

The police said that the closure came after the police received information that the mapping office was working in providing geographical consultation but in reality it was doing its normal work. The office’s director, Khalil Tafakji, is sponsored by the Palestinian Authority and is in continuous communication with the Palestinian security services as they claim.

The Israeli police added that the mapping office is sending the security services in Ramallah the names of people that intend to sell land or houses to Jews in East Jerusalem. When there are suspicions or intentions to sell property to Jews, the Palestinian security services were informed and thus conduct their own investigation.