Trump Admin Will Shutter Palestine Liberation Office In D.C.

Trump administration to close Palestinian leadership's office in a bid to mount pressure over peace deal

Nauert's statement criticized the PLO's leadership for what she said was a refusal to engage with the USA government on peace efforts. Although the USA does not recognize Palestinian statehood, the PLO has maintained in Washington a general delegation office that facilitates Palestinian officials' interactions with the US government.

"However, the PLO has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel". Pressure tactics have including the controversial move of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, in addition to slashing hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian assistance to Palestinian organizations.

But the Palestinians have cut all contacts with Washington, citing a series of decisions made by Mr Trump that they say favour Israel, most importantly the relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem announced in December that gave USA recognition to the contested city as Israel's united capital. "We are not retreating from our efforts to achieve a lasting and comprehensive peace". The Palestinians have said they would reject any United States peace proposal after the embassy move.

Trump has pledged to reach the "deal of the century" on Israeli-Palestinian peace but has declined to commit to a two-state solution, for years the focus of global diplomacy.

He also reiterated calls for the ICC to probe "Israeli crimes" and vowed the Palestinians would not "succumb to United States threats and bullying".

"Accordingly, we continue to call upon the International Criminal Court to open its immediate investigation into Israeli crimes", he stated.

PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat said in a statement before the official announcement that "the rights of the Palestinian people are not for sale".

The Trump administration has exited three of Obama's signature global-governance achievements: the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the Paris Agreement, and the Iran deal.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton takes the stage to speak at a Federalist Society luncheon at the Mayflower Hotel, Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, in Washington.

The PLO was once considered a terrorist organisation by the U.S. and Israel until 1991.

The United States allowed the PLO to open a mission in Washington in 1994, a move that required then-President Bill Clinton to waive a law that said the Palestinians couldn't have an office.

The Trump administration ordered the closure of the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington on Monday, citing the refusal of Palestinian leaders to enter into peace talks with Israel. Last September, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called for the ICC to investigate and prosecute Israeli officials.

The ICC aims to bring to justice the perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

This follows moves by President Donald Trump to end funding for the United Nations agency that helps Palestinian refugees, slash USA aid for projects in the West Bank and Gaza and cut funding to hospitals in Jerusalem that serve Palestinians. -Palestinian relations in the Trump era.

"It's a much more real policy matter now because of the potential liability in Afghanistan", a senior Trump administration official tells The Washington Post.

The Palestine Liberation Organization quickly denounced the decision, calling it "the use of cheap blackmail as a political tool". The White House has not said when the office will officially shutter.

One lesson the Admin should learn from its predecessors is: stong-arming either side to negotiate ending their conflict & make core compromises when they're unprepared has never worked. However, such a deal is unlikely given Palestinian mistrust of his administration.

Bolton explicitly made clear just how far the Trump administration was prepared to go to ensure it remains dead.

According to a draft of the speech seen by Reuters, the Neo-Con ideologue is expected to warn the ICC that the U.S. will fight back using any means necessary if the ICC ever dares to probe an American or Israeli, and will punish those who cooperates with war-crime investigations.

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