Erdan Extends Closure of Orient House, PA Groups, in Yerushalayim

The Orient House in Yerushalayim. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan on Thursday extended the order for the closure of the Orient House, which was used by the Palestinian Authority as an administrative center in Yerushalayim. The site was closed in 2001, days after the bombing of the Sbarro pizza parlor in central Yerushalayim.

The order prevents the operation of Orient House, as well as the operation of PA services and organizations in Yerushalayim. Among the organizations included are the East Jerusalem Chamber of Commerce, the Palestinian Prisoners Association, the Palestinian Authority Office for Statistics and Social Surveys, the Palestinian Research Center, and the High Commission for Arab Industry and Tourism. All of these organizations are either directed by or funded by the PA, and as such are not allowed to operate in Yerushalayim, which is under Israeli sovereignty, Erdan said.

“The extension of the closure of Palestinian institutions in Yerushalayim is a message to the Palestinian Authority and residents of east Yerushalayim,” Erdan said. “Israel has no intention of conceding in an any way its sovereignty in any part of the city, and will not allow the PA any possibility of operating in it.

“The PA has been working in devious ways to increase its presence in Arab areas of Yerushalayim, including transferring large amounts of money for operations. Our security forces are working at all times to prevent this. I will continue to increase Israel’s sovereignty over all parts of Yerushalayim and prevent all Palestinian Authority efforts to establish itself in the city,” he added.

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