The Orient House
PRESS RELEASE FROM THE ORIENT HOUSE
On Wednesday, the 29th of August 2001, Jawad Boulos, the attorney of the Orient House, was allowed access to inspect the premises of the PLO headquarters in Occupied East Jerusalem after the illegal occupation and closure by Israeli "security" forces on the 10th of August 2001.
After repeated appeals to Israeli authorities to be granted access to the Orient House, Jawad Boulos was the first Palestinian representative to finally enter and inquire on the current situation regarding the files and documents relating to the work and mission of the Orient House. Not only has he encountered that personal belongings, confidential information relating to the Jerusalem issue as well as documents referring as far back as to the Madrid peace process of 1991 had been confiscated, even working desks and most of the doors had been destroyed during the Israeli incursion. In addition, 43 items of PC equipment sponsored by international donors and partly belonging to the Negotiations Affairs Department of the PLO, had been confiscated. Furthermore, the office of the late Faisal Husseini, known for his efforts to achieve lasting peace, has been completely emptied.
Every day Israeli authorities summon one or two employees
of the Orient House to the Russian Compound to be subjected to interrogation.
During the Israeli occupation of Beit Jalla, an Israeli missile hit the
house of Prof. Manuel Hassassian, head of the NSU-unit Jerusalem Task
Force/Orient House, destroying one fourth of the building.
The inaction of the international community amounts to a tacit approval of Israeli violations of Palestinian internationally recognized rights. Due to the unwillingness of the US and the Israeli government to implement effective protection mechanisms in the Occupied Territories, including East Jerusalem, the Palestinian civilian population is totally exposed to increasing illegal actions by the Israeli authorities.
Considering the fact that the Orient House was established with the intention to gradually build a peaceful co-existence based on international legitimacy between Israelis and Palestinians and further considering that one of its main goals was to relieve the hardships of the growing socially disadvantaged Palestinian civilian population in Occupied East Jerusalem, the Orient House calls upon the international community to move on from merely condemning Israeli violations against the Palestinian civilian population to initiate action aimed at stopping Israeli violations.
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