The Orient House







17 July 2001 (8:00 p.m.)



Orient House Begins its 

Commemoration Ceremony Despite Israeli Obstacles


Israel has set up two rings of checkpoints around the Orient House in order to prevent people from attending the commemoration ceremony for Faisal Husseini at the Orient House including members of the Christian and Muslim community, members of the Diplomatic Corps, Israeli activists and Palestinian officials.


There were clashes at the checkpoint as Israeli security prevented several clergy including the Ikrima Sabri Mufti of Jerusalem and high-ranking Christian clergy from entering.   Members of the diplomatic corps and Israeli Knesset Members intervened on behalf of the religious clergy but the Mufti only entered after Arab Israeli Knesset Members, including Azmi Bishara, Ahmed Tibi, Abdel Malik Dehamshe and Mohammed Barake and others forced their way through the police barricade.


Hundreds of Palestinians wishing to pay their respects, including officials such as Speaker of the PLC Ahmed Qreií, were turned back at checkpoints around Jerusalem as well as around the Orient House.  Several clashes occurred after Israeli police began to enforce their cordon using horses, border police and special forces.


Israeli security cordon has been established to block all entrances to the Orient House since the morning after Israeli Internal Security Minister Uzi Landau issued an order barring all commemoration activities anywhere in Jerusalem.  Todayís violence is in sharp contrast to the non-violent funeral of Faisal Husseini wherein the absence of Israeli security in Occupied East Jerusalem prevented clashes.


The commemoration ceremony is currently underway with speakers representing the Israeli peace bloc, diplomatic corps, Fatah, Church and Muslim communities, the Al-Husseini family and others giving speeches.


The Orient House vows to continue to honor the legacy of Faisal Husseini despite the provocative actions of Israel.  The Orient House will continue to represent the interests of Palestinians in Jerusalem and will work to build the city as the capital of two states in international law.




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