Palestinians say they won’t enter peace talks if US shutters DC office

Palestinians say they won’t enter peace talks if US shutters DC office
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Palestinians are threatening to stop communication with the United States if the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington is closed, dealing a potential blow to the Trump administration’s push for Middle East peace talks.

Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat warned in a video posted on social media on Saturday that closing the PLO office “will undermine the whole peace process.”

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The Trump administration reportedly warned the PLO on Friday that the U.S. will close its office in Washington unless Palestinians enter “direct and meaningful negotiations” for a peace deal with Israel. 

Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonOvernight Defense: Trump rails against media coverage | Calls reporting on Iran tensions 'highly inaccurate' | GOP senator blocking Trump pick for Turkey ambassador | Defense bill markup next week Trump frustrated with advisers over Iran, wants to speak to leaders in Tehran: report Juan Williams: Trump's scorecard is rife with losses MORE had determined a Palestinian call for the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis violates U.S. law, requiring the organization to close its Washington offices. The Trump administration has 90 days to determine whether the PLO’s Washington office will be allowed to remain open.

Erekat called the decision “very unfortunate and unacceptable,” adding that Palestinians would put communications with the Trump administration "on hold.”

Erekat argued that the U.S. is bowing to pressure from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.