The Orient House






20 July 2001



Israel Continues Its Efforts to Strangle the Orient House


Last Wednesday night, at approximately 11 p.m., Israeli police and Special Forces approached the Orient House and arrested four staff members in the latest attempt by Israel to incapacitate the national headquarters of the Palestinians in Jerusalem. 


The Israeli police commander threatened that if the four staff did not voluntarily hand themselves over to the Israeli authorities, the police would enter the Orient House compound and take them by force.  The four, charged with assault on a police officer in the aftermath of the memorial service for Faisal Husseini, then voluntarily handed themselves over.


On Tuesday, the 17th of July, Israeli Minister of Internal Security Uzi Landau issued an order banning all commemoration activities for the late Faisal Husseini and surrounded the Orient House with a security cordon preventing anyone from entering. Clashes erupted when Israeli troops attacked Palestinian women during a family funeral procession to the grave of Mr. Husseini and when they prevented and beat several religious figures, such as the Mufti of Jerusalem and Christian leaders.  The police also forbade several diplomats from entering the Orient House despite their immunity.


The Orient House calls for the immediate release of the four staff members who are currently being held in administrative detention in the Russian Compound.  Orient House considers this latest Israeli act to be another attempt to debilitate Palestinian presence in Occupied East Jerusalem and strengthen the Israeli hold on Jerusalem.  The Orient House calls on the international community to protect the mosaic character of the city and stand firm against the exclusivist policies of Israel.




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