Israel forces on Tuesday closed down a Palestinian research centre during a raid and arrested its director, international media said.
According to Newswyre reports, The director was arrested over allegations of working for the Palestinian security apparatus.
The office of the Mapping and Geographic Information Systems Department of the Arab Studies Society in east Jerusalem al-Quds was closed on Tuesday for six months, an Israeli police statement was quoted by Press TV.
Israeli officials accused the director of the research center, Khalil Tafakji, of cooperating with the Palestinian Authority to monitor the sale of land by Palestinians to Israeli Jews.
Israeli Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Tafakji’s activities were “part of the Palestinian Authority’s plan to undermine our sovereignty in Jerusalem and terrorize Arabs selling real estate to Jews in the city.”
“I’ll continue to act assertively to prevent Palestinian sovereignty in Jerusalem,” he added.
Under the Palestinian law, sale of land to Israeli settlers is punishable by death.
Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat issued a statement, slamming the “illegitimate” closure and arrest as part of Israel’s attempts to “erase any Palestinian presence in the city.”
Tafakji has been mapping the Palestinian territories for decades and his research has been a major reference for international experts and the world press.
Since the inauguration of US President Donald Trump in January, the Israeli regime, which sees in him a stronger supporter than former president Barack Obama, has stepped up its construction of settler units on occupied Palestinian lands.