US to close PLO offices in Washington unless Trump determines ‘meaningful negotiations’

Yesterday, the AP news agency reported that following Palestinian attempts to place Israel on trial in the International Criminal Court, the US has informed the Palestinian Liberation Organization that it might close its Washington office.
Trump and Abbas Photo Credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News

Yesterday (Friday), the Associated Press news agency reported that the Trump administration has informed the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) that it is considering closing its office in Washington, in light of the attempt to place Israel on trial in the International Criminal Court (ICC).

According to a US law, the PLO must close its office if it tries to convince the ICC to prosecute Israel for crimes against Palestinians. According to a State Department official, Palestinian leaders have crossed this line.

Palestinian offices to close in Washington? Photo credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News

Now, the ball is in President Donald Trump’s court, who has the ability to prevent the closure of the PLO office. According to the law, Trump has 90 days to determine whether the Palestinians are conducting “direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel.” If he determines that this condition is met, the PLO may keep its Washington office open.

“This measure should in no way be seen as a signal that the US is backing off those efforts,” the official wrote in an email.



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