Palestinian Offices in Jerusalem Close

The Palestinian Authority has closed down several offices operating in eastern Jerusalem in what Israel has maintained was a violation of the self-rule accords.

Palestinian officials said Sunday that these included the offices of geography and cartography and the offices of youth and sport.

A statistics office was shut down by the authority last week.

Israel has been demanding the closures as a precondition to resuming talks on the redeployment of Israeli troops from most of the West Bank town of Hebron.

The redeployment is called for under the Interim Agreement signed by Israel and the Palestinians in September, but the move, scheduled for late March, was postponed after a series of suicide bombings in Israel earlier this year.

Palestinian Authority official Nabil Shaath said there were no offices run by the authority operating in Jerusalem.

He said Shimon Peres, who at the time was foreign minister, had given assurances that Palestinian institutions operating in eastern Jerusalem before the establishment of the self-rule government in 1994 would be allowed to remain open.

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