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Israel to detain organiser of East Jerusalem school strike until protest is cancelled

Israeli forces regularly aid al-Issawiya neighbourhood in East Jerusalem Anadolu/Getty]

Date of publication: 5 November, 2019

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Member of a parent's committee that called for a 'school strike', Yasser Darwish, was arrested by Israeli forces on Monday.

Israel arrested a Palestinian in the occupied East Jerusalem instrumental in leading a school strike, with his release conditional on an end to the strike.

Israeli police summoned two members of a parent's committee following a school strike in Al-Issawiya neighbourhood on Monday to a station and arrested one of them, Haaretz reported.

Yasser Darwish had been previously arrested during a similar action by the parents committee. 

Following Darwish's arrest, clashes broke out between Israeli forces and Issawiya residents, with three minors arrested.

The school strike began on 2 November and has seen 4,500 Palestinian students miss school to protest the arrest of a 16-year-old by Israeli police. 

The minor was detained on Saturday during a raid on a high school after he was accused of throwing rocks at police. 

The parents committee, of which Darwish is a part, has demanded Israeli police agree not to operate near schools as a condition to ending the strike.

At the start of the school year in September, the committee announced a strike to protest the Israeli police incursion into schools, saying it endangered students. 

Members of the committee then met with Jerusalem's police chief and mayor, after which the strike was called off on the basis that police would not enter schools.

Israeli police claim they were forced to enter the school on Saturday after the suspect fled into the building. But Isawiyah residents say that Israeli forces have violated the September agreement on an almost daily basis.

Raad Abu Rial, a member of the parents' committee, said in comments quoted by Haaretz that police officers patrol the neighbourhood every morning before school.

Read more: South Africa shames other nations at UN over Palestine inaction

Issawiya neighbourhood, which is a regular target of Israeli security operations, has been a hotbed of tensions in recent months, with clashes often breaking out between Palestinian protestors and Israeli forces.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War. It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognised by the international community.

Israel sees all of Jerusalem as its undivided capital, while the Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

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