Netanyahu Hails US Decision to Shutter PLO Mission in DC

Glen Norman
September 13, 2018

He added that "the current USA administration's policies starting with the transfer of its embassy to Jerusalem last May unveiled its complete prejudice to the Israeli agenda".

Trump's decision has left UNRWA trying to cover a $200 million shortfall from Gulf and European donors, and has further strained tensions between Washington and the Palestinian leadership. It is appropriate that the US withdraw all support from the Palestinian Authority until the government decides to live in peace. Last year, the US Trump administration warned that it might close the office after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for the investigation and prosecution of Israeli officials by the ICC.

"The United States supports a direct and robust peace process, and we will not allow the ICC, or any other organization, to constrain Israel's right to self-defense", he said in a speech to The Federalist Society, a conservative, Washington-based think tank. "We are not retreating from our efforts to achieve a lasting and comprehensive peace".

The State Department announced Monday it would close the mission, accusing the Palestinians of refusing to engage with the United States or Israel and of rejecting outright a still-unseen USA peace plan.

"The US made the correct decision regarding the PLO mission in Washington", Netanyahu said in a statement posted on his Twitter account.

The Palestinians were angered by Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and to move the U.S. Embassy there. "Israel supports these actions that are meant to make it clear to the Palestinians that refusing to negotiate and attacking Israel in worldwide forums will not bring about peace".

Activist Abdullah Abu Rahmeh said that the move is a message to Israel that "it's our right to build on our land". They say they reduce and fragment the territory Palestinians seek for a viable state.

Despite the mistrust, 53 per cent of respondents still support the idea of an independent Palestinian state in areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war, while only 24 per cent backed a solution of one state of Israelis and Palestinians together.

Palestinian leaders say the administration is blatantly biased in favour of Israel and is seeking to blackmail them into accepting the White House's moves. -Israeli ties, Washington had tried to position itself as a neutral party in the vexing Mideast conflict, willing to call out both sides when they take steps seen as contrary to the pursuit of peace.

Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi said it was "an act of revenge against the Palestinian people" by Trump.

Senior diplomat Dr. Saeb Erekat demanded the global community to intervene in what he argued were USA "attacks against the worldwide system as a whole" to defend Israel.

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