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Palestine moves to cut all communication with US

Palestine's threat comes after US move to close Washington offices of Palestine Liberation Organisation

November 19, 2017 at 12:06 pm

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas (R) and US President Donald Trump (L) hold a joint press conference following their meeting on 23 May, 2017 in Bethlehem, West Bank [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Palestine has threatened to cut off “all communication” with the US over its warning to close the Washington offices of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

In a video, Saib Ureykat, PLO Secretary General said: “Palestine administration will cut off all communication with the US in case that PLO rejects to renew the license of Washington office”, adding:

We got the message by the US Department of State that the license approval process of PLO’S office [in Washington] will not be extended as Palestine appealed the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the Israeli’s violations against Palestine

Reported by the American newswire Associated Press (AP) on Friday, the US threatened to close the Washington offices of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) over its calls to prosecute Israeli officials in the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against Palestinians.

The AP reported that it is against US laws for the PLO to apply to the ICC for prosecution against Israel.

Read: Former ICC official says Israel will be convicted of war crimes

Under a 2015 US law, the secretary of state must certify to Congress that the PLO has not taken action with the ICC, and Rex Tillerson was unable to do so by a November deadline, according to a State Departmant official.

At issue is the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ call for the ICC to investigate and prosecute Israelis at the UN General Assembly in September, according to the AP.

The PLO is the officially recognised representative of the Palestinian people while the Palestinian Authority is the de jure governing authority in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Read: Israel demolishes Palestinian village Al-Araqeeb for 121st time