PLO Office Will Close in DC

Sep 11, 2018

As America marks the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that killed 2,997 people and injured more than 6,000, the Trump administration announced yesterday that the office of the General Delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington, D.C. will close.

This move leaves the Palestinian Authority (previously known as the PLO) without a formal presence in the U.S. capital and comes after the White House said it was cutting $25 million in funding for health services in heavily-Palestinian East Jerusalem.

The PLO office was permitted 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. However, the PLO has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel. To the contrary, PLO leadership has condemned a U.S. peace plan they have not yet seen and refused to engage with the U.S. government with respect to peace efforts and otherwise.

The decision to close the office is also consistent with administration and congressional concerns with Palestinian attempts to prompt an investigation of Israel by the International Criminal Court. This move also follows the State Department's announcement last August that the administration is slashing more than $200 million in bilateral aid to the Palestinians following a review that President Trump ordered to ensure the spending was aligned with U.S. national interests. The Palestinian Authority uses much of its foreign aid to support and promote terrorism.

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