Israel closes PLO official's office

TEL AVIV, Israel, July 9 (UPI) -- The Israel government Tuesday closed the offices of the Palestinian Liberation Organization's political commissioner in Jerusalem, saying the office worked to undermine the sovereignty of Jerusalem.

An order signed by Public Security Minister Uzi Landau alleged that the offices of Professor Sari Nusseibeh, who is also president of Al-Quds University, an the school's administration functioned as a Palestinian Authority "representation" and were therefore closed.


Nusseibeh is in Greece and could not be immediately reached for comment. A spokesman for Nusseibeh, Dimitri Diliani, told United Press International that police removed files and computers, detained five employees for half an hour and ordered him to report for an Israel Security Agency investigation.

About a year ago Israel closed the PLO's offices at the Orient House in East Jerusalem and Nusseibeh apparently carried out his PLO work at his university offices.

Landau told reporters the offices were "an arm" of the Palestinian Authority "designed to undermine our sovereignty in Jerusalem."

Israel maintains that all of Jerusalem is part of its capital. The Palestinians say Jerusalem shall be their capital.

Nusseibeh has emerged as a dovish leader, seeking a compromise with Israel. He had opposed suicide bombings and saying he realized Israel would never agree to accept the Palestinian refugees.


Landau said Nusseibeh's "nicety should not deceive anyone." During the 1991 Gulf War, when Iraq fired 39 Scud missiles into Israel, Nusseibeh transferred information about possible Israeli targets and was detained, Landau alleged.

Landau predecessor, Shlomo Ben-Ami, a dovish member of the Knesset, slammed Tuesday's move.

Alluding to Nusseibeh he said: "Where should Israel look for the narrow ray of hope (to solve the dispute), the light in the end of the tunnel, if not with figures like him?"

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