Trump administration orders closure of Palestinian office


If the ICC does come after the U.S., Israel, or any allies, Bolton said the U.S. will not sit quietly.

Trump's decision to close the offices is just one of several punitive measures taken against the Palestinians in recent weeks.

In a letter, Sen.

Although the United States does not recognise Palestinian statehood, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which formally represents Palestinians, has maintained a "general delegation" office in Washington.

"Thirty years ago, Congress found, as part of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1987 ... that the PLO and its affiliates were terrorist organizations threatening the United States", Cruz and Ros-Lehtinen wrote. Although the USA does not recognize Palestinian statehood, the PLO has maintained a "general delegation" office in Washington that facilitates Palestinian officials' interactions with the US government.

President Donald Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton (C), is reported to be planning to warn the USA "will fight back" if the International Criminal Court formally proceeds with opening an investigation into alleged United States war crimes in Afghanistan. "The Trump administration will not keep the office open when the Palestinians refuse to take steps to start direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel".

The Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Palestinians would "continue to call upon the worldwide criminal court to open its immediate investigation into Israeli crimes".

The administration has said it's trying a new approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after decades of failed peace talks, chipping away at the Palestinians' key issues as it reshapes USA policy.

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The Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

The Federalist Society is a conservative legal group that has supported the nomination and confirmation process of both Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

'We have been officially informed that the USA administration will close our embassy in Washington as a punishment for continuing to work with the International Criminal Court against Israeli war crimes, ' Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said.

As Reason's Matt Welch noted in 2013, residents of non-signatory countries such as the US can only face trial before the ICC at the request of the U.N. Security Council.

Bolton added that the administration will not allow any ICC judges or prosecutors enter the country if the investigation launches. Pressure tactics have including the controversial move of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, in addition to slashing hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian assistance to Palestinian organizations. Senior diplomat Saeb Erekat decried the U.S. decision as designed "to protect Israeli crimes" and said that the move would not deter Palestinian legal action against Israel. That led Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to break off contact with USA officials for what he called pro-Israel bias, and the opening of the new embassy was met with large Palestinian protests in which dozens were killed. He said ICC judges and prosecutors would be banned from coming to the USA, their assets in US jurisdictions would be frozen and they would face prosecution.

"We will not cooperate with the ICC", Mr. Bolton said.

The PLO has been calling on the International Criminal Court to open an investigation into actions by Israel.