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Abbas’ Fatah Movement attacks US for cutting aid to UNRWA and closing the PLO offices in Washington

Headline: “Fatah: The US is behaving with political hypocrisy of the highest order”

“The Fatah Movement said that the American administration is behaving with political hypocrisy of the highest order towards the Palestinian people and [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas. Fatah Movement Spokesman Osama Al-Qawasmi noted in a press release yesterday (Tuesday) [March 20, 2018] that the White House stops the aid to UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) and our people, and [then] convenes a conference for saving the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip; it closes the PLO offices [in Washington] in accordance with the decision of Congress that defines the PLO as ‘terrorist,’ and then invites the president to visit the US and move forward in the political process. He emphasized: ‘The slap of the century (in Arabic rhymes with “the deal of the century,” US President Donald Trump’s as yet unannounced Middle East peace plan –Ed.) will not pass. We are united around President Mahmoud Abbas and his brave, firm, and clear positions facing this Israeli-American aggression.’”

In early January 2018, the US froze two planned payments to UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) for more than $100 million, and the US administration spoke about the need to reexamine and conduct a reform of the UN body. This occurred after the PA refused to negotiate with Israel and cut diplomatic ties with America following US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Dec. 6, 2017.

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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