Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Trump administration plans on closing PLO office in DC

Trump administration plans on closing PLO office in DC

The US government had also attributed its decision to close the PLO Office over the efforts by Palestine to prompt an investigation against Israel by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The move comes in ostensible retaliation for efforts by the Palestinian leadership to have crimes allegedly committed by Israel prosecuted by The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC).

When George W. Bush took office in 2001, his administration promoted and passed the American Service Members Protection Act, which sought to immunize US troops from potential prosecution by the ICC. The closure of the PLO office follows the US Trump administration's decisions such as recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, ending all funds to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), and most recently cancelling $20 million in aid to Palestinian hospitals in occupied East Jerusalem. Jordan, a USA ally, said the decision would only fuel radicalism and harm prospects for Middle East peace.

Alarmed by this trajectory, Americans for Peace Now (APN) calls on the few remaining responsible members of the Trump administration's foreign policy team and on Congress to act to reverse this disastrous trend and preserve any remaining chance for viable peace between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors.

Erekat said that Palestine's submission to the ICC was over the Israeli high court decision pertaining to the demolition and forcible displacement of the Palestinian community of Al-Khan Al-Ahmar.

"It should be noted that, in contrast to previous administrations that would reward the Palestinians for abandoning the negotiations with Israel, President Trump is forcing the Palestinians to pay a price", Oren said.

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The Foreign Ministry (Wisma Putra) in a statement here yesterday said Malaysia firmly believes that the positions taken by the U.S. government were counterproductive towards finding a comprehensive and lasting solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

But the Trump administration is trotting out discussions about the two on the same day - Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year - in a move certain to inflame the White House's already bitter relations with Palestinians.

Senior diplomat Dr. Saeb Erekat demanded the global community to intervene in what he argued were USA "attacks against the worldwide system as a whole" to defend Israel. "They are no longer partners in the peace process", Erekat said.

Israel says Khan al-Ahmar, an encampment of corrugated shacks east of Jerusalem, was illegally built and has offered to resettle residents 12 kilometres (7 miles) away.

In May, a National Security Council spokesperson said the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump was considering closing the PLO mission after the P.A. called on the ICC to investigate Israeli building in Judea and Samaria, as well as riots on the Gaza border.

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