Israel briefly detains Palestinian cartography expert

Jerusalem-based NGO’s mapping department shut down after Israel claims that it works for Palestinian Authority

Israel briefly detains Palestinian cartography expert

World Bulletin / News Desk

Israeli authorities on Tuesday released Khalil al-Tafakji, director of the Jerusalem-based Arab Studies Society’s cartographical department, after briefly detaining him.

Tafakji said the Israeli authorities had released him hours after picking him up.

Israeli police spokesperson Luba Samri confirmed the release of Tafakji, who is regarded as a leading Palestinian expert on Israeli settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Devoted to monitoring Israeli settlement activity in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, the NGO’s cartographical department possesses an enormous map archive of the Palestinian territories.

Along with detaining Tafakji, the Israeli authorities also shut down the mapping department.

Israeli Minister of Internal Security Gilad Erdan justified the closure by saying that the cartographical department “worked for” the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA).

Last year, the Israeli authorities shut down a number of East Jerusalem-based institutions on claims they were working for the PA or “other Palestinian organizations”.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Mart 2017, 00:03