Recent raid of Arab Studies Society’s Jerusalem office highlights a long-standing problem, rights groups say.
When Israeli police showed up at the maps and survey department of the Arab Studies Society’s office in Jerusalem last month, director Khalil Tufakji was surprised to receive a six-month shutdown order.
Police proceeded to confiscate computers and the main server, along with posters and maps that had hung on the walls. Tufakji, along with the equipment, was swiftly transferred to the Jerusalem-based Moscobiyeh interrogation centre, also known as the Russian Compound.
The Israeli order alleged that Tufakji’s office was working for the Palestinian Authority (PA), and police later accused the office of investigating land sales to Israelis on behalf of the PA.But four hours after his arrest, Tufakji was released and his equipment returned, untouched. The department was reopened a couple of days later. Today, inside Tufakji’s modest office, a mark on the wall where an aerial photograph used to hang was the only sign a raid had taken place.
Read full report from Al Jazeera