Annan urges Israeli authorities to end occupation of 'Orient House'

Annan urges Israeli authorities to end occupation of 'Orient House'

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has urged the Israeli authorities to end their occupation of properties related to Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem, pointing out that this development has led to increased tension.

In a statement issued by his spokesman on Sunday following Israel's seizure of the properties, which included Orient House, the Secretary-General said he "considers this action to be an unwise step, which is leading to even greater friction and further violence."

The statement urged "that the occupation of Orient House and the other properties be ended without delay."

According to the statement, after the seizures, Mr. Annan received a letter from the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Arafat, with whom he has also spoken by telephone.