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Palestinians threatened to suspend all communication if US closes PLO mission

in AMERICAS/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

The Palestinians threatened on Saturday to suspend all communication with the United States if the Trump administration follows through with plans to close their diplomatic office in Washington. The potential rupture in relations threatens to undermine President Donald Trump’s bid for Mideast peace: a mission he has handed his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the U.S. decision was “very unfortunate and unacceptable,” and accused Washington of bowing to pressure from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government “at a time when we are trying to cooperate to achieve the ultimate deal”. The administration announced late Friday that the Palestinians had run afoul of a legal provision that says the Palestine Liberation Organization cannot operate a Washington office if the Palestinians try to get the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis for crimes against Palestinians. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson determined that the Palestinians crossed that line in September, when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the court to investigate and prosecute Israelis, according to State Department officials.

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