The United States announced the closure of the Palestinian mission in Washington, DC, in what Palestinian leaders described as “a declaration of war” on peace efforts by the administration of President Donald Trump.
In a statement on Monday, the US State Department said the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) office “has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel”.
“We have permitted the PLO office to conduct operations that support the objective of achieving a lasting, comprehensive peace between Israelis and the Palestinians since the expiration of a previous waiver in November 2017,” the statement said.
It added the PLO leadership “has condemned a US peace plan they have not yet seen and refused to engage with the US government with respect to peace efforts and otherwise”.
In response, the Palestinian Authority (PA) said the move would allow Israel to continue “their policies against the Palestinian people and land”.
“It is a declaration of war on efforts to bring peace to our country and the region,” PA spokesman Yousef al-Mahmoud was quoted as saying by Wafa news agency.