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PA condemns Israel closure of Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem

Palestinian demonstrate on the Mount of Olives, which overlooks the Dome of the Rock in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, as they protest against the Jewish settlers who live in the Israeli annexed Arab East Jerusalem's a-Tur neighborhood and against a decision by the Jerusalem municipality and Israel's Nature and Parks Authority (NPA) to build a national park on Palestinian land in a-Tur and Issawiya, on April 20, 2012. [Mahfouz Abu Turk/Apaimages]
Palestinian demonstrate on the Mount of Olives, which overlooks the Dome of the Rock in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, as they protest against the Jewish settlers who live in the Israeli annexed Arab East Jerusalem's a-Tur neighborhood and against a decision by the Jerusalem municipality and Israel's Nature and Parks Authority (NPA) to build a national park on Palestinian land in a-Tur and Issawiya, on April 20, 2012. [Mahfouz Abu Turk/Apaimages]

The Palestinian Authority's Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, Fadi Al-Hidmi, yesterday condemned Israel's decision to extend the closure of Palestinian institutions in the occupied city of Jerusalem for another six months, Anadolu news agency reported.

Al-Hidmi said in a statement that the decision comes in the context of the ongoing Israeli attack on the city, its institutions and sanctities, adding that "the decision includes extending the closure of the Orient House, the Chamber of Commerce, the Prisoner's Club, the Supreme Council of Tourism and dozens of other vital institutions".

"The closure decision, which has been ongoing since 2001, also comes in the context of the forced evictions and demolitions in Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan, Beit Hanina and other Jerusalem neighbourhoods … and a blatant and flagrant violation of the Israeli government's commitments and obligations to the Norwegian Foreign Minister Johan Jørgen Holst in 1993 about not attacking Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem," he added.

The Palestinian minister also condemned Israel's Judaisation policies in Jerusalem, saying it targets the most important commercial, cultural and population centres in the city.

Last year, the Israeli Central Planning and Building Committee submitted a plan which defined building policies in an area of 655 dunams (162 acres) surrounding the Old City in East Jerusalem. However, following objections from Palestinian residents, the plan was postponed, but the committee resubmitted it this month and gave residents until the end of July to object to it.

The plan affects tens of thousands of Palestinians, especially in the streets of Salah Al-Din, Sultan Suleiman and Zahraa, as well as other neighbourhoods, including Sheikh Jarrah and Wadi Al-Joz, which are considered the commercial hubs of occupied East Jerusalem.

READ: Fearing international uproar, Bennett to postpone Sheikh Jarrah evictions

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