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 TillersonPompeo jokes he'll be secretary of State until Trump 'tweets me out of office' Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN ambassador job Trump administration’s top European diplomat to resign in February 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.