ADC Action Alert: Threat To Close Orient House
Threat To Close Orient House
In a new and highly provocative measure against Palestinians in Jerusalem, the Israeli government has ordered the closing of the main Palestinian offices in east Jerusalem, Orient House. In spite of the fact that Orient House has won a seven day reprieve from Israeli courts suspending the closure order, now is clearly the time to act.
The Israeli security cabinet passed a resolution ordering Israeli police to close Palestinian offices operating from the Orient House, and revoking “VIP” travel permits for Faisal Husseini and other Palestinian officials in order to prevent them from traveling to or within Jerusalem
to meet diplomats. This move followed meetings between Husseini and other Palestinians with foreign diplomats, a practice that is traditional and which continued under Labor governments, but that Netanyahu falsely describes as a violation of the Oslo Accords.
The German news agency reports that Israel Radio said that police commanders warned the cabinet against taking harsh steps against the Orient House that might cause unrest in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Both Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, the Labor Party candidate, have made ensuring permanent Israeli control of all of Jerusalem a central feature of their electoral campaigns.
The closure of Orient House can only be seen as a major violation of the
Oslo Accords, unilaterally changing the status of a major element of life and politics in occupied east Jerusalem. It is designed to further weaken and undermine the Palestinian presence and Palestinian ties to Jerusalem and is both a provocation and an affront, as well as a serious violation of the Oslo Accords.
Please contact the State Department, your Senators and Congressperson. Let them know that this unilateral violation of the accords is unacceptable and that it is a dangerous and unnecessary provocation. We need to put pressure on the U.S. government to use its influence to stop this illegal and provocative action. We should insist that the State Department intervene during the seven day reprieve and ensure that Orient House is not closed.
write to or fax the Secretary of State:
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520
Or email Secretary Albright at
You can telephone any member of Congress through the congressional
switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
On the internet to find out who your representative and senators are and
best means of direct communication (email etc.), go to and enter your zip code or
look up your congressperson or senators by name at