Trump closing Palestinian mission in pro-Israel move
13 September, 2018, 17:04 | Author: Lucy Floyd
The accusation of breaking the USA law came after Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said in a September United Nations General Assembly speech that the Palestinians had "called on the International Criminal Court to open an investigation and to prosecute Israeli officials for their involvement in settlement activities and aggressions against our people".
Palestinian officials on Monday vowed not to bend to what they called the Trump administrations "bullying tactics" after being informed that their office in Washington would be shut down.
The move comes in ostensible retaliation for efforts by the Palestinian leadership to have crimes allegedly committed by Israel prosecuted by The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC).
If such a probe proceeds, the Trump administration will consider banning judges and prosecutors from entering the United States, put sanctions on any funds they have in the US financial system and prosecute them in the American court system. Jordan, a USA ally, said the decision would only fuel radicalism and harm prospects for Middle East peace.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas halted ties with the Trump administration in December after the USA recognized contested Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
He has cited the Trump administration's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and cuts in aid to the Palestinians and the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees.
Closing the PLO mission in Washington nearly certainly will stiffen the Palestinians' opposition to any Trump peace plan now being worked on by Trump's Middle East point men, son-in-law Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt.
By all indications, the Trump plan does not endorse a two-state solution and predetermines key negotiating issues such as the future of Jerusalem and the future of Palestinian refugees by (in the words of Trump and his team) taking them "off the table".
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Israel claims that the village was illegally built and has offered to resettle residents, but critics say that its removal is meant to make room for an Israeli settlement. The accusations against US personnel include torture and illegal imprisonment. -Israeli ties, Washington had tried to position itself as a neutral party in the vexing Mideast conflict, willing to call out both sides when they take steps seen as contrary to the pursuit of peace.
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.
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