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PA and PLO officials respond to US decision to close the PLO office in Washington: There will be “severe consequences”

Headline: "Palestine opposes the extortion as the US acts to close the PLO office"
       "Senior Palestinian officials yesterday [Nov. 18, 2017] expressed their astonishment at the American government’s decision to close the PLO office in Washington as long as it does not carry out peace negotiations with Israel (sic., the closure came about due to the PLO’s breach of a Congressional mandate that they not sue Israelis in the International Criminal Court). They said that they will not surrender to extortion.
The [PA] presidential office yesterday expressed 'its great surprise over the latest American step regarding the PLO office in Washington, especially considering the fact that [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas’ meetings with [US President] Donald Trump have been characterized by complete mutual understanding regarding the steps to prepare an atmosphere that will allow the renewal of the peace process.'
[PA] Presidential Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said: 'This step, which is meant to close the PLO office, is an unprecedented step in the history of the American-Palestinian relations.' In a statement published by [the official PA news] agency WAFA, he added that the closure of the office 'will have severe consequences on the peace process and on the US relations with the Arab world.' […]
PLO Executive Committee Secretary, [Fatah Central Committee member, and PLO Chief Negotiator] Saeb Erekat said yesterday evening: 'We have received a letter from the American Department of State, according to which they were unable to extend the opening of the PLO office in Washington due to our joining the International Criminal Court, and our request to the International Criminal Court to transfer the Israeli war crimes… to the legal council in order to open a legal investigation.'
Erekat added: 'Therefore, we have also responded to the American administration in a letter, in which we said that if the PLO office is closed, we will freeze all of our contacts with the American administration until the office is opened.’"

PLO US office closure - On Nov. 17, 2017, the American administration announced that the PLO has violated a 2015 Congressional mandate, which states that the PLO cannot operate an office in Washington if the Palestinians try to get the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis for crimes against the Palestinians. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson determined that the Palestinians violated this mandate in September 2017, when PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas called on the International Criminal Court to investigate and prosecute Israelis while speaking at the UN. US President Donald Trump has 90 days to determine whether the Palestinians have entered into meaningful negotiations with the Israelis and make a final decision regarding the closure of the office.
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