For the first time since Israel illegally shut down Palestinian Authority civil offices in Jerusalem in 2001, the Palestinian Authority held its first meeting with a foreign diplomat. The meeting was not held at the Orient House, but at an orphanage in East Jerusalem.Official Palestinian representatives held a meeting with the Norwegian Foreign Minister, Jonas Gahr Store, at an orphanage close to the Mount of Olives in east Jerusalem.
The meeting is considered significant as it is an official meeting held by the Palestinian Authority with a foreign diplomat in occupied East Jerusalem.
Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that the Palestinian Authority asked the representatives of the Quartet Committee last Wednesday to ask Israel to reopen the Orient House.
Israel considers the Orient House as the headquarters of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in Jerusalem.
The Palestinian officials also proposed that Store should ask Israel to open all institutions and offices it shut down in East Jerusalem.
They said that opening the offices of the Palestinian Authority in East Jerusalem and halting all settlement activities would be a very good incentive to resume peace talks with Israel.
East Jerusalem is an important part of the Palestinian and Arab territories that Israel illegally captured during the six-day war of 1967.