Israel arrests PA’s ‘Governor of Jerusalem’ in overnight raid

Israeli police arrested a senior Palestinian Authority official in Jerusalem overnight Tuesday.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

On Tuesday night, Israeli police arrested Adnan Jit, the so-called Jerusalem governor of the Palestinian Authority, on suspicion of fraud, according to the Palestinian WAFA News Agency. A second suspect was arrested along with him.

Israeli police confirmed they had made arrests but wouldn’t identify the suspects, only saying one was a senior figure charged with violating laws related to “fraud and forgery.”

WAFA reports that Jit was arrested at his home in Silwan, a neighborhood in the eastern part of Jerusalem.

Temple Mount tensions

Jit’s arrest comes in the wake of unrest on the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam.  On Friday, dozens of Palestinian Arabs rioted on the Temple Mount during Friday prayers. Police arrested 24 Arabs. Four officers were wounded.

Police said rioters started to hurl fireworks and rocks at them in an “unclear and inexplicable move.”

Thousands then stormed the Golden Gate, or the Gate of Mercy, the only eastern entrance to the Temple Mount.

Israel had sealed the gate and area nearby in 2003 when they discovered that the Islamic Heritage Committee, whose offices were located in that section of the Temple Mount, was run by Hamas.

Israel also maintains that the Waqf, the Jordanian-controlled Muslim committee which manages Islamic structures on the Temple Mount, had ordered work in the area that led to the destruction of antiquities from periods of Jewish presence in the area, in an attempt to erase the Jewish historical connection to the site.

Two weeks ago the Waqf attempted to open the area.

Earlier arrests

It’s not clear if Jit’s arrest is related to the Temple Mount unrest. Jit had been arrested twice before recently, in October and November, in connection with the kidnapping of an Arab who was charged with helping to sell a Palestinian-owned house to Jews, a capital offense in the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Israeli police also suspect that Jit’s office, funded by the PA, transferred funds to Palestinians in Jerusalem to carry out activities aimed at thwarting land deals between Palestinians and Jews.

According to Israel Hayom, Jit, recently appointed to his position, is one of the leaders of Fatah’s Tanzim military arm and is behind several incidents of violence in the capital.