Palestinians threaten to cut ties with United States if Washington office closed

Fireworks descend near Israeli police officers during clashes with Palestinian protesters in the East Jerusalem

The Palestinian leadership has frozen communications with the Trump administration following the White House's threat to close the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington.

"What is the use of holding any meetings with them when they close our office?"

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has announced it is freezing all ties with the USA as a result of the State Department's announcement on Friday that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) can no longer operate its Washington office.

The US has announced on Friday that it would not renew the PLO Washington office permit.

"In practice by closing the office they are freezing all meetings and we are making that official". This is because of a USA law that stipulates the Palestinian mission in Washington will be closed if the Palestinians try to take action against Israel at the International Criminal Court.

In this handout image provided by the Palestinian Press Office, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) meets with Jared Kushner, senior adviser to President Donald Trump in Ramallah, West Bank, on June 21.


On Saturday, Palestinians threatened to suspend all communication with the United States if the Trump administration follows through with plans to close their diplomatic office in Washington.

Congress added a provision to the law in 2015 requiring the shuttering of the mission if the Palestinians seek to "influence a determination by the ICC to initiate a judicially authorized investigation, or to actively support such an investigation, that subjects Israeli nationals to an investigation for alleged crimes against Palestinians".

Rights groups have condemned what they say is the Palestinians' right to seek an ICC decision on Israel's conduct during the seven-week 2014 Gaza War, in which its forces were accused of not taking adequate measures to protect civilian live.

Earlier on Tuesday, Malki told the PA's official radio station, the Voice of Palestine, that the U.S. administration was reconsidering its decision to close down the PLO office due to the threat by the Palestinian leadership to freeze contacts.

Trump has a 90 days to stop the closure of the office if he deems progress has been made in the peace process.

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