Trump officials to announce closure of Palestine Liberation Organization office in DC: report

Trump officials to announce closure of Palestine Liberation Organization office in DC: report
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National security adviser John Bolton is expected to announce Monday that the U.S. will shutter the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) office in Washington, D.C., The Wall Street Journal reported.

“The Trump administration will not keep the office open when the Palestinians refuse to start direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel,” Bolton is expected to say, according to a draft of his speech reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Bolton will reportedly threaten the International Criminal Court with sanctions if it carries out investigations into the U.S. and Israel.

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The action against the PLO, which serves as the main entity representing the Palestinian people, comes as the Trump administration takes a harsher stance toward Palestinians amid ongoing Middle East peace negotiations.

The State Department announced late last month that the U.S. will cut more than $200 million in economic aid for Palestinians and direct the money toward other projects. A State Department official said the decision was made "at the direction of President TrumpDonald John TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate MORE" to ensure the money is spent "in accordance with U.S. national interests and [will] provide value to the U.S. taxpayer."

The decision could heighten tensions between the U.S. and Palestinian leaders, who already cut off communications in peace negotiations after Trump announced the U.S. Embassy in Israel would be relocated to Jerusalem.

The White House, led by senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerMueller investigating Russian payments made by Trump Tower meeting organizers: report The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil Manafort’s plea deal — the clear winners and losers MORE, has yet to release its long-awaited Middle East peace plan involving Israel and the Palestinians.