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Hamas: Shutting PLO Washington office biased to Israel

People gather to celebrate the signing of the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah on 12 October 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Palestinian resistance group Hamas on Sunday described the US decision to close the Washington offices of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as “biased towards Israel”.

“Hamas considered the refusal of the US State Department to renew the operating permission of the PLO in Washington and linking this decision to the membership of the State of Palestine to the international Criminal Court and its filing of cases against Israeli criminals as completely biased towards Israel,” Hamas said in a written statement.

The group also criticized the decision as encouraging Israel “to commit more crimes without deterrence”.

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Hamas called on the Palestinian government to reject pressures and “to support the steadfastness of its people by achieving reconciliation and Palestinian unity”.

On Saturday, the US threatened to close the Washington offices of the PLO over its calls to prosecute Israeli officials in the International Criminal Court for crimes against Palestinians.

Earlier on Monday, in retaliation, Palestine also threatened to cut off “all communication” with the US over its warning to close the Washington offices of the PLO.

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

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