The Trump administration’s decision to shut down the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) office in Washington, DC, is “denying the Palestinians as people” and further jeopardising the peace process, analysts warn.
White House National Security Advisor John Bolton announced the administration’s decision in a speech on Monday, saying the PLO had “not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel”.
He said the PLO leadership had instead “condemned a yet-to-be-seen US peace plan and “refused to engage with the US government with respect to peace efforts and otherwise”. The administration has also threatened the International Criminal Court with sanctions if judges open an investigation into the US or Israel.
Palestinian officials have described the decision as a “declaration of war on efforts to bring peace … to the region”.
PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said the decision was “yet another affirmation of the Trump administration’s policy to collectively punish the Palestinian people.