The Palestine Liberation Organization received a notice from the President’s administration that it would shut down the group’s Washington office if it did not show any inclination to hold peace discussions with Israel.
Violation of the U.S. Law by Palestinians
According to Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State, the citizens of Palestine have breached a US law provision that is rarely invoked. This provision demands that the Palestine Liberation Organization office would be shut down if they continued to stand in opposition to Israel. The department reports that Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, violated this law in the month of September because he asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to do an investigation and take action against Israel for the war activities against Palestine.
Tillerson said that it was impossible to make the accurate certification needed by law to let the PLO remain open based on the Palestinian leaders’ statements about the International Criminal Court. While making a speech at the UN General Assembly, the Palestinian President said that the people of Palestine have requested the court (ICC) to run an investigation and charge Israeli officials who have been involved in aggression and settlement activities against Palestinians.
Peace talks in danger: Erekat
A leading Palestinian negotiator and PLO official, Saeb Erekat, said that the people of Palestine have reacted to Tillerson’s decision by giving a warning of ending all relations with the President’s administration if the US office is shut. Erekat added that the administration is under pressure exerted by the government of Netanyahu and it is happening at the time when Palestine is trying to offer its cooperation and achieve the final deal. He said that such steps could easily disrupt the entire peace process.
The office of Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, issued a brief statement in which it called the United States’ decision “a subject of American law”. In the statement, the Israeli administration claimed to respect the decision. It also said that it was eager to continue working with America and advance security and peace in the territory.
The White House made an announcement this month regarding the officials preparing a detailed peace agreement that would be put forward sometime in the future. Although no details regarding the contract have been provided so far, both Jason Greenblatt and Jared Kushner have been visiting the Middle East to hold meetings with the Arabs, Israelis, and Palestinians.