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US State Department Announces Closure of PLO Delegation Office in Washington

General Delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (Facebook)
IMAGE: Office of the General Delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (Facebook)

The US Department of State announced in a statement today the closure of the office of the General Delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) in Washington, D.C., located at 1732 Wisconsin Ave NW.

“The PLO has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel. To the contrary, PLO leadership has condemned a US peace plan they have not yet seen and refused to engage with the U.S. government with respect to peace efforts and otherwise,” the Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said in the official statement.

Here is the official response by the head of the PLO General Delegation, Ambassador Dr. Husam Zomlot:

We condemn in the strongest terms, the US administration’s decision to close the Palestinian mission to the US. However, we are not surprised.

Such a reckless act confirms that the administration is blindly executing Israel’s “wish list,” which starts with shutting down Palestinian diplomatic representation in the US.

The administration’s reasoning for such an act is the refusal of the Palestinian leadership and the PLO Delegation to the US to cooperate with the so-called “peace efforts” and our actions to hold Israel accountable by referring it to the International Criminal Court. We stand firm in our decision not to cooperate in this ongoing campaign to liquidate our rights and cause. Our rights are not for sale and we will block any attempts at bullying and blackmailing us to forgo our legitimate and internationally endorsed rights.

Those who have pushed for such an act are taking a direct aim not only against the Palestinian people and the historic US-Palestinian relationship, but also the prospects for peace in the Middle East and the integrity of the international political and legal system.

The US administration is committing to protect Israel from unlawful acts, and provide it with full immunity to kill the two state-solution, and continue violating basic human and national rights of the people of Palestine, while attacking and undermining the international system of legitimacy and legality.

However, this confirms for us that we are on the right track. We will step up our efforts to hold Israel accountable under international law, continue building international alliances for peace, double our efforts to reach out to the American people as we witness the transformational change in American public opinion in support of the Palestinian cause and our legitimate rights.

While today is a dark day for peace in the Middle East, for multilateralism, and the integrity of the international political and legal system, we will continue our struggle to pursue all possible legal and political means to achieve peace, independence, and our internationally enshrined rights.

The office closure is latest move by Washington and the Trump administration to clamp down on Pro-Palestinian organizations both domestically and abroad. Just last month, the U.S. ended all aid for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

READ MORE PALESTINE NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Palestine Files

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