The Trump administration has revoked the visas of the Washington Palestinian delegate and his family a few days after the official headquarters of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington, D.C.
PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi said the administration revoked visas for Ambassador Husam Zomlot’s wife and his two children despite the fact that their visas are valid until 2020. ”Zomlot’s son Said, 7, and his daughter Alma, 5, left school last week and have since left the country,” he said, The Jerusalem Post first reported.
Zomlot left the U.S. in May after he was recalled by the Palestinian Authority back to Ramallah in protest of President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“As if the announcement that the U.S. would close our Washington DC office was not enough, this vindictive action by the Trump administration is spiteful,” Ashrawi said Sunday. “The U.S. has sought to pressure and blackmail the Palestinians to a new level,” he said.
Trump’s decision to close PLO offices is one of the measures he has taken to pressure Palestinians to begin U.S.-mediated negotiations with Israel. The PA stopped its contact with the White House after Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December.
Last week, Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of U.S. President Donald Trump, charged with advancing the Middle East peace process, said his diplomatic efforts were not affected by recent punitive actions against the Palestinian Authority.
“All we do is deal with things as we see them and we are not afraid to do the right thing. I think, as a result, you have a much better chance of really achieving real peace,” he said in an interview with The New York Times.
Ashrawi, also stated that the revocation of visas “also comes in vengeance of the Palestinian leadership’s firm and primordial rejection of the Trump administration’s unilateral measures under the so-called ‘final agreement’ and the ensuing blackmail. The U.S. administration is destroying the possibilities for peace and undermining its own credibility and position at all levels,” he added.