Top Fatah official faces jail over Jerusalem protests

By Ma’an News Agency – 7 March 2010

Jerusalem – Ma’an – Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein filed a litany of charges against senior Fatah official Hatem Abdul Qader, all in relation to recent civil unrest among Palestinians in Jerusalem.

Abdul Qader was charged with violating court orders against visiting the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, inciting riots, and assaulting police officers. A trial has been set for 27 April.

Palestinian legal officials said Abdul Qader could face more than a year in prison if convicted.

Abdul Qader himself rejected the charges saying in a statement, “the occupation is attempting to punish me for political activity in Jerusalem.”

Abdul Qader, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) and former cabinet minister for Jerusalem affairs, has been arrested several times by Israeli forces, particularly during demonstrations at the Al-Aqsa compound. This is the first time the attorney general has filed criminal charges against him.

Dozens of Palestinians were hurt on Friday when Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa compound, firing tear gas and stun grenades at demonstrators.

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