Trump Administration to shut the Palestinian Mission in Washington D.C.

IndraStra Global

Trump Administration to shut the Palestinian Mission in Washington D.C.

By IndraStra Global News Team

Image Attribute: National Security Adviser John Bolton speaks at a Federalist Society luncheon at the Mayflower Hotel on September 10 in Washington. / Source: YouTube screengrab

Image Attribute: National Security Adviser John Bolton speaks at a Federalist Society luncheon at the Mayflower Hotel on September 10 in Washington. / Source: YouTube screengrab

The United States has decided to close the Palestinian mission (de facto embassy) in Washington D.C. as a result of latter not reverting positively to the United States President Donald Trump's proposition for a "peace plan" which he calls the "ultimate deal".

"We have been notified by a U.S. official of their decision to close the Palestinian mission to the U.S.," PLO secretary-general Saeb Erekat said in a statement. "This is yet another affirmation of the Trump administration’s policy to collectively punish the Palestinian people, including by cutting financial support for humanitarian services including health and education. To this regard, we will take the necessary measures to protect the rights of our citizens living in the United States to access their consular services,the statement continued.

For a long time, Palestinians were pushing for Israel being investigated for Gaza war crimes at the International Criminal Court (ICC) which has angered the current U.S. administration. As per the Palestinian officials, the closure of mission is the result of their campaigning. 

"This dangerous escalation shows that the U.S. is willing to disband the international system in order to protect Israeli crimes and attacks against the land and people of Palestine as well as against peace and security in the rest of our region," the statement read.

The controversial decision for closure has been revealed before John Bolton's first speech as a national security adviser, which he later confirmed in his speech today at a Federalist Society luncheon at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington. "The United States will always stand with our friend and ally, Israel," Bolton said. "And, today, reflecting Congressional concerns with Palestinian attempts to prompt an ICC investigation of Israel, the State Department will announce the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization office here in Washington, D.C."

Ever since December (2017), when President Trump announced that he will move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and recognize the city as Israel’s capital, the Palestinians have stopped communicating with his administration. They have said that the current administration cannot be accepted as an "honest broker" because of its bias towards Israel.

Since then, the Trump administration has been trying to get Palestinian negotiators back to the table by cutting over $200 million (€173 million) in bilateral aid to the Palestinians. The US has also pulled its support for the UN agency for Palestinian refugee agency. Last year, the Trump administration threatened to shut down the PLO mission, stating that American law requires to have meaningful Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in order to allow the mission to continue its operations. Back then, however, negotiations between the U.S. and the Palestinian Authority were still ongoing, and so the administration managed to postpone any decision on the matter.

Recently, over the weekend, US has also decided to cut more than $20 million in foreign aid meant to support hospitals in East Jerusalem. The decision will directly hurt Palestinian patients who require life-saving medical treatments for adults as well as for children.

With reporting BBC, Hareetz, and Reuters