Israel welcomes closure of PLO office in Washington


According to Nauert, the move was also in response to Palestinian attempts to urge the International Criminal Court in the Hague to investigate Israel.

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territory - Over 60 per cent of Palestinians oppose resuming dialogue with the Trump administration after the US cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, according to an opinion poll published Wednesday.

Then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson deemed the PLO responsible for violating a provision in US law that prohibits the group from trying to get the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis for crimes against Palestinians.

The Trump administration dramatically ratchetted up its rhetoric by threatening sanctions if the court pursues investigations against the U.S., Israel or other allies. Jordan, a USA ally, said the decision would only fuel radicalism and harm prospects for Middle East peace.

The head of the PLO delegation to the USA accused the Trump administration of "dismantling decades of US vision and engagement in Palestine".

Palestinians seek to establish a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

"The United States made the right decision to close the PLO offices", Netanyahu said.

The administration is trying to draw a connection between the two and pressure Palestinians to talk directly with Israel.

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The PLO office in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment."The United States will always stand with our friend and ally, Israel", says Bolton's draft text.

US President Donald Trump and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu at a press conference in Jerusalem, May 2017. "They are no longer partners in the peace process", Erekat said.

Bolton listed a series of reprisals against the court, such as the ban on entry to the U.S. of its judges and prosecutors: "In addition, we will sanction their funds in the U.S. financial system, and prosecute them in the U.S. criminal system".

He said Israel should be held accountable for its plans for the Khan al-Ahmar encampment, a West Bank hamlet that has focused attention on what critics say is the displacement of Palestinians by Israel.

Previously, the Moroccan official participated in a special session of Arab Foreign ministers to discuss the crisis of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) after the United States suspended its contributions.

Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign promised to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to contested Jerusalem.

Erekat stressed that the Palestinians are committed to the peace process on the basis of the two-state solution, but will not accept the current US administration team to be the peace mediator.