The Trump administration said Friday it will shut down the Palestinian Liberation Office (PLO) in Washington, D.C., unless the Palestinians get serious about peace talks with Israel.
The State Department has determined that the PLO has violated a law stating that the PLO cannot push for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prosecute Israelis. Violation of this law means that the State Department could force the PLO to close its mission, The Associated Press reports.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stated in September that the Palestinians have called for the ICC to “open an investigation and to prosecute Israeli officials for their involvement in settlement activities and aggressions against our people.”
Given the PLO’s violation, President Donald Trump has 90 days to assess whether the Palestinians are engaged in meaningful negotiations with Israel. If Trump decides that the negotiations are meaningful, the Palestinians can keep their D.C. office. But if not, the office will be shut down. It’s also possible that the Trump administration could close the office down before the 90-day window, but even if the office is closed, that doesn’t mean peace efforts have collapsed.
Trump’s team has already started working on a plan to bring peace to the Middle East 10 months after taking office. For Trump, achieving peace in that region is the “ultimate deal.” The plan will likely discuss Jerusalem and settlements in the West Bank. The Palestinians have expressed some amount of skepticism because of how Trump’s loud, unabashed support for Israel and the fact that several Trump staffers heading the plan are Jews, like Jason D. Greenblatt, chief negotiator, David M. Friedman, ambassador to Israel and Jared Kushner.
It’s unclear when the Trump administration will release a peace proposal.
The PLO did not respond to a request for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation by press time.
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