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US likely to close Palestinian mission in Washington: Report

IANS  |  Washington 

The will announce on Monday that it is closing the (PLO)'s office in Washington, according to a report.

The report stated on Sunday that Trump's will announce the decision in a speech, saying that "the will not keep the office open when the Palestinians refuse to start direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel".

The Palestinians say that the is biased against them and that the latter has fully adopted Israel's positions. Palestinians say that they will only negotiate under the mediation of a broader international forum.

The report stated that Bolton will threaten to take actions against the if it moves ahead with investigations focused on Israel's actions in

The will also threaten to ban ICC judges from entering the US and to sanction their funds in American financial institutions, if the court acts against

In 2017, the Trump administration threatened to shut down the PLO office, stating that American law requires to have meaningful Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in order to allow the delegation to continue its operations.

Back then, however, negotiations between the US and the were still ongoing, so the administration managed to postpone any decision on the matter.

Ever since December 2017, when Trump announced that he will move the in to and recognize the city as Israel's capital, the Palestinians have stopped communicating with the Trump administration. They have said that the administration cannot be accepted as an "honest broker" because of its bias towards

The US media reported on Saturday that the Trump administration "will be redirecting approximately $25 million originally planned for the East Those funds will go to high-priority projects elsewhere".

In response, the Palestinian side denounced the move as "an act of political blackmail", saying it would cause "serious instability and grave harm" to thousands of patients and their families across the and Strip.

The upcoming US decision will be the latest in a trove of US funding cuts against the Palestinians.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, September 10 2018. 11:38 IST