Article image Israel hails US decision to shut Palestinian mission

Blanche Robertson
September 13, 2018

Over the weekend, the US also announced it was closing the Palestinians' de facto embassy in Washington, deepening Palestinian anger and mistrust.

"This is welcome news that President Trump and his administration have taken decisive steps to no longer tolerate the Palestinian anti-Israel propaganda by closing the PLO office in Washington, D.C.", said Mat Staver, Chairman of Liberty Counsel and Chairman of Christians in Defense of Israel.

Bolton is also expected to threaten to impose severe sanctions against the International Criminal Court (ICC) if it attempts to investigate or consider any war crime charges against Israel raised by the Palestinians.

The Palestinians accused the administration of dismantling decades of USA engagement with them.

In a series of blows to the Palestinians, the U.S. recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, moved its embassy there, cut funding to the United Nations agency that deals with Palestinian refugees, and then last week said it would withdraw $25 million in support from hospitals in East Jerusalem. Jordan, a US ally, said the decision would only fuel radicalism and harm prospects for Middle East peace.

The other 90 percent interviewed by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research agreed with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that the Trump administration is hopelessly biased in Israel's favor.

Husam Zomlot, head of the PLO mission in Washington, called the closure of the office "bullying and blackmailing" and said the U.S. government was "blindly executing Israel's 'wish list'".

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"He is just capitalizing on resentment that politicians have been fanning for years", he said. But nothing will get done if this generation doesn't vote, he added.

France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom said on Monday its strategic location is important to maintain "contiguity of a future Palestinian state". He also added that they would accredit their funds in USA financial system and will indict them in the U.S. criminal system.

The Israeli Court chose to demolish the Bedouin village of Khan Al-Ahmar near Jerusalem, displace Palestinian families in order to expand the settlement of Ma'aleh Adummim, among heavy popular resistance.

Over the weekend, it announced it would cut $25 million in assistance for hospitals in east Jerusalem that provide critical care to Palestinian patients.

The Trump administration's attack on Israel's Palestinian partner for peace negotiations, the Palestine Liberation Organization, is an attack on the framework for peace that the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships have created in the past quarter century. Khan al-Ahmar is situated outside Jerusalem between two Israeli settlements.

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

"We have permitted the PLO office to conduct operations that support the objective of achieving a lasting, comprehensive peace between Israelis and the Palestinians since the expiration of a previous waiver in November 2017", said the statement.

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