Cruz: Close Palestinian group's DC office
© Getty Images

Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzMcCain votes to advance ObamaCare repeal, replace after vowing to oppose Senate rejects ObamaCare repeal, replacement amendment Senate Dem: We’re trying to block a recess appointment to replace Sessions MORE (R-Texas) is pressing the Obama administration to close the Palestinian Liberation Organization's (PLO) office from Washington, suggesting that it supports terrorism against Israel. 

Cruz and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) sent a letter, signed by 30 other Republican lawmakers, to Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerrySenators who have felt McCain's wrath talk of their respect for him Dems see huge field emerging to take on Trump Budowsky: Dems need council of war MORE saying that Israel has "seen a dramatic increase in deadly attacks carried out by Palestinians sympathetic to the message of hatred and intolerance proclaimed by leaders" within the PLO. 

ADVERTISEMENT
"The United States government has an obligation to publicly denounce the PLO’s actions and should immediately revoke its waiver," they wrote in the letter, which was released on Monday. "Allowing the PLO to maintain an office in Washington, D.C. provides no benefit to the United States or the peace process."

Lawmakers previously passed legislation banning the PLO from maintaining an office, but included a provision allowing the president to temporarily waive the requirement. Administrations from both parties have suspended the push to ban a PLO office since 1994. 

But the Republican lawmakers said that a recent string of attacks "is directly connected to the Palestinian government’s teaching of hate and glorification of terrorism." 

The PLO offers political representation for Palestinians in international negotiations, but the Palestinian Authority (PA) is the interim government established to oversee the West Bank and parts of the Gaza Strip. Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the PA, offered his resignation as chairman of the PLO's executive committee earlier this year. 

Cruz, citing a quote from Abbas, said in a statement on Monday that "it is long past time for the United States to hold the PLO and its leaders accountable for engaging in such rampant incitement, for celebrating the murder of Jews, and for providing payment to Palestinian terrorists jailed in Israel and their families." 

The lawmakers point to a report from the Palestinian Media Watch, an Israel-based research group, which found that the PLO pays monthly salaries to Palestinians jailed in Israel on security and terrorism-related charges.