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

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCruz calls out O'Rourke for supporting NFL players' protests during anthem Beto O’Rourke: Term limits can help keep politicians from turning into a--holes Election Countdown: GOP worries House majority endangered by top of ticket | Dems make history in Tuesday's primaries | Parties fight for Puerto Rican vote in Florida | GOP lawmakers plan 'Freedom Tour' 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 Forbes KerryVoters will punish Congress for ignoring duty on war and peace Trump draws bipartisan fire over Brennan Hillicon Valley: Trump revokes Brennan's security clearance | Twitter cracks down on InfoWars | AT&T hit with crypto lawsuit | DHS hosts election security exercise 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.