This move will be sure to create more controversy for the White House administration. National security adviser John Bolton is expected to announced on Monday that the United States will shut down the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) office in Washington, D.C., according to the Wall Street Journal.
“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. The Wall Street Journal has reviewed a draft of the National Security Adviser’s speech.
Bolton will also reportedly threaten the International Criminal Court with sanctions if it carries out investigations into the U.S. and Israel.
This move against the PLO comes in the midst of President Trump and his administration taking a more harsh stance toward Palestinians and the Middle East peace negotiations. The PLO serves at the main entity that represents the Palestinian people in the region.
The State Department announced late last month that the U.S. will cut more than $200 million in economic aid for Palestinians. 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.”
These moves will increase tensions between the U.S. and Palestinian leaders, who already cut off communications in peace negotiations. They stopped all dialogue after Trump announced the U.S. Embassy in Israel would be relocated to Jerusalem.
Senior adviser, Jared Kushner, has taken the lead for the White House in these Middle East peace negotiations involving Israel and the Palestinians. The White House has yet to release its long-awaited Middle East peace plan to the public.
Do you think this decision to shut down the PLO offices in Washington will impact the long-term prospect of peace? We look forward to seeing your comments.