WASHINGTON (AP) - The Trump administration ordered the closure of the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington on Monday and threatened sanctions against the International Criminal Court if it pursues investigations against the U.S., Israel, or other allies. The moves are likely to harden Palestinian resistance to the U.S. role as a peace broker.
The administration cited the refusal of Palestinian leaders to enter into peace talks with Israel as the reason for closing the Palestinian Liberation Organization office, although the U.S. has yet to present its plan to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinians accused the administration of dismantling decades of U.S. engagement with them.
Shortly after the State Department announcement, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, launched a broadside against The Hague-based International Criminal Court. The closure of the PLO office - the latest in a series of moves targeting the Palestinians - was centered on the fact that no “direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel” are underway despite previous warnings, the State Department said.