LONDON: Diplomats from several European countries held a video call with Palestine’s Jerusalem affairs minister following his arrest by Israeli police on April 3.
Fadi Al-Hadami was detained for several hours by Israeli police while trying to help Palestinians in East Jerusalem fight the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Al-Hadami says he was assaulted and forced to wear a contaminated face mask during his detention, and his home was broken into and ransacked by Israeli officers.
The UK Consulate in Jerusalem said one of its representatives joined diplomats from Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Sweden and the EU on the video call with Al-Hadami.
“They expressed concern at the 3 April raid by Israeli police on his home, his detention and questioning about his work to prevent the spread of Covid19 in East Jerusalem,” the consulate wrote on social media.
Al-Hadami was arrested on suspicion of acting on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA) as part of its response to the COVID-19 outbreak in East Jerusalem.
According to a complaint raised by Al-Hadami, who has been in office for a year, Israeli police “brutally” broke into his home, and a search was conducted without family present and in violation of the court-issued warrant, his lawyers said.
According to a Haaretz report, Palestinian sources said police confiscated 10,000 shekels ($2,750) that were intended as charitable donations.
Al-Hadami has been arrested four times by Israeli police since taking office, but has been released on each occasion with no charges brought.
The PA’s Jerusalem Gov. Adnan Ghaith was also arrested on Sunday on suspicion of acting on the authority’s behalf to combat the virus crisis.