Palestinians again use Jerusalem as 'capital'

Tuesday, January 19, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff

The Palestinian Authority for the first time in eight years held an official diplomatic meeting with a foreign national in the Israeli capital of Jerusalem on Monday.

Palestinian representatives met with visiting Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store at an orphanage near the Mount of Olives in eastern Jerusalem.

It was the first high-level diplomatic use of Jerusalem by the Palestinians since Israel forced the closure of the the PA's Orient House in 2001.

Prior to that, the PA had used Orient House as its official headquarters in Jerusalem and to conduct political and diplomatic activity in the Israeli capital in violation of signed peace agreements.

At a meeting of the self-styled Middle East Quartet last week, Russia and the European Union proposed pressuring Israel to allow the PA to reopen its offices in Jerusalem, a prelude to the surrender of the eastern half of the city to become the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Earlier last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that Israel would never allow the redivision of Jerusalem.

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