State Dept. Closes Palestinian Office in Washington

12 Sep 2018

The Trump administration has ordered the closure of the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington and threatened sanctions against the International Criminal Court if it pursues investigations against the U.S., Israel, or other allies. The administration cited the refusal of Palestinian leaders to enter into peace talks with Israel as the reason for closing the office of the Palestinian Liberation Organization; the Palestinians accuse the administration of dismantling U.S. engagement with them.

The PLO office was closed because no “direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel” are underway despite previous warnings. The State Department says that the decision is in line with U.S. law and consistent with U.S. policy to oppose Palestinian attempts to bring Israel before the ICC. The administration told the Palestinians last year that the closure was possible unless they agreed to sit to down with the Israelis. The administration has yet to release its own peace plan although it said it still intends to do so.

Read more in TIME