EU Asks Israel to Reopen PLO Headquarters
The European Union -- ignoring Israel's long-stated position Jerusalem will remain its undivided and eternal capital -- has called for Israel to allow the PLO to re-open its headquarters in the Orient House in the holy city.
"The EU firmly believes that these institutions should be allowed to re-open and resume their operations as focal points for Palestinians in east Jerusalem," an EU statement said. "The EU urges Israel to reconsider the closure and to fully review its decision."
Israeli police shut down the institutions in 2001, shortly after the launch of the Second Intifada.
Last week, the EU spoke out against Interior Minister Eli Yishai's decision to approve construction of 1,600 apartments in the northeast Jerusalem haredi neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo.
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she "regrets" hearing of Eli Yishai's decision about the Ramat Shlomo construction, saying that such moves threaten the two-state solution.
The EU official said in a statement that she deeply regrets receiving "information of the publicly stated intention of the Israeli government to continue settlement expansion in east Jerusalem," noting that the EU has "repeatedly called on Israel to end all settlement activity."
For the Palestinian Authority to headquarter itself in Jerusalem would be a step towards exercising sovreignty in the city.