Jerusalem
Jerusalem iStock

Israeli police arrested the Palestinian Authority 'governor' of Jerusalem and a local official of the mainstream Fatah party in dawn raids Monday in the disputed city, their lawyer said.

Police arrested governor Adnan Ghaith and the Fatah general secretary for Jerusalem, Shadi Mutour, in raids on their homes in Jerusalem, lawyer Mohammed Mahmud told AFP.

He said they were accused of engaging in activity on behalf of the Palestinian Authority in the city.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP that "two representatives were arrested by police and are being questioned", but did not confirm their names or give any further detail.

Senior PA official Hanan Ashrawi condemned Ghaith's arrest in a strongly-worded statement.

"Governor Ghaith's detention is an act of political persecution," she wrote. "It is an illegal abduction that must be roundly and firmly condemned by all concerned parties."

"Israel is waging war against everything Palestinian in Jerusalem," she added.

Ghaith has been taken in for police questioning several times.

The last time was on April 14, when Mahmud said his client was accused of breaching an order banning him from visiting the Palestinian Authority.

He has previously been grilled over suspicions of involvement in the PA's arrest in October of American-Palestinian Arab Issam Akel, who was accused in connection with the sale of an eastern Jerusalem building to Jewish buyers.

Such sales are considered treasonous among Palestinian Arans opposed to Jews buying property to gain a foothold in Arab areas.

Akel was sentenced to life imprisonment by a PA court, but he was reportedly later allowed to leave to the United States.

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