Israeli police have stopped a series of Palestinian gatherings that are part
of celebrations to designate Jerusalem as the 2009 "Capital of Arab
Israeli media say police shut down at
least five gatherings Saturday, including an effort by students carrying flags
of the Palestine Liberation Organization from reaching the Temple
At least 11 people believed to be event organizers were arrested.
They included at least two employees of the Palestinian al-Quds University who
were planning to hand out T-shirts promoting the celebrations.
officials say the celebrations violate a law that prohibits the Palestinian
Authority from organizing events on Israeli territory. Israel annexed East
Jerusalem after capturing it in the 1967 Six-Day War. The annexation has not
been internationally recognized, and Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the
capital of a future state.
Meanwhile, exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal
told the Australian Sydney Morning Herald newspaper that the Palestinian
militant group will try to capture more Israeli soldiers if Israel refuses to
release Palestinian prisoners.
Meshaal made the comments from Hamas
headquarters in Damascus.
His remarks come as the family of Israeli
soldier Gilad Shalit marked 1,000 days since his capture.
seized Shalit during a cross-border raid nearly three years ago. The soldier has
become a focal point of Egyptian efforts to mediate a long-term cease-fire
between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
Hamas is seeking the release of
hundreds of prisoners held by Israel in exchange for Shalit.
Some information for this report was provided by