Palestine Liberation Organization accuses Trump administration of revoking visas for top envoy’s family


The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on Sunday accused the Trump administration of rescinding visas for the family of Palestinian envoy Husam Zomlot, calling the action “spiteful.”

The PLO alleged in a statement that the administration revoked the visas of Zomlot’s wife and two young children as it moved to shut down the organization’s Washington, D.C., office.

Zomlot has not been in the U.S. since he was recalled by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas amid tensions over President Trump’s decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

{mosads}”By deliberately targeting the family of Ambassador Zomlot, the U.S. administration has gone from cruel punishment to revenge against the Palestinians and their leadership even to the point of causing hardship to their innocent children and families,” PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement.

The White House and the State Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the visas.

The PLO additionally claimed that the Trump administration ordered officials to shutter the group’s bank accounts upon the closure of the Washington office.

“Instead of working for a genuine peace, the U.S. administration is destroying the chances of peace and undermining its own credibility and standing on all levels,” Ashrawi said.

The State Department moved last week to close the PLO offices, arguing it had failed to take steps “to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel.” The department additionally attributed the decision to Palestinian plans to bring charges against Israel for war crimes in the International Criminal Court.

Tensions between the U.S. and Palestinian leaders have been heightened since Trump announced last December that the U.S. would relocate its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, as Palestinians also view the city as holy territory. 

Meanwhile, the Trump administration has yet to release its long-anticipated plan for brokering peace between Israel and Palestine.

–This report was updated on Sept. 20 at 9:20 a.m.

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