Trump officials to announce closure of Palestine Liberation Organization office in DC
National security adviser John Bolton is expected to announce Monday that the U.S. will shutter the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) office in Washington, D.C., The Wall Street Journal reported.
“The Trump administration will not keep the office open when the Palestinians refuse to start direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel,” Bolton is expected to say, according to a draft of his speech reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Bolton will reportedly threaten the International Criminal Court with sanctions if it carries out investigations into the U.S. and Israel.
The action against the PLO, which serves as the main entity representing the Palestinian people, comes as the Trump administration takes a harsher stance toward Palestinians amid ongoing Middle East peace negotiations.
The State Department announced late last month that the U.S. will cut more than $200 million in economic aid for Palestinians and direct the money toward other projects. A State Department official said the decision was made “at the direction of President Trump” to ensure the money is spent “in accordance with U.S. national interests and [will] provide value to the U.S. taxpayer.”
The decision could heighten tensions between the U.S. and Palestinian leaders, who already cut off communications in peace negotiations after Trump announced the U.S. Embassy in Israel would be relocated to Jerusalem.
The White House, led by senior adviser Jared Kushner, has yet to release its long-awaited Middle East peace plan involving Israel and the Palestinians.