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The US a year ago threatened to close the PLO office in Washington after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate and prosecute Israel for war crimes.

"As such, and reflecting Congressional concerns, the Administration has decided that the PLO office in Washington will close at this point", the statement added.

Bolton's speech, on the eve of the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, came as an ICC judge was expected to soon announce a decision on a request from prosecutors to formally open an investigation into allegations of war crimes committed by Afghan national security forces, Taliban and Haqqani network militants, and US forces and intelligence in Afghanistan since May 2003.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the USA administration's "clear stance in the matter".

In recent weeks, the United States cut more than $200 million in bilateral aid to the Palestinians and cancelled its support for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, or UNRWA.

The move comes a day after the USA closed the Palestinian de facto embassy in Washington because of its leaders' refusal to enter peace talks with Israel.

"The decision is one of a series of unfair USA policies and procedures toward the Palestinians that aimed at squeezing their cause", Aboul-Gheit said in a statement.

Husam Zomlot, head of the PLO mission in Washington, called the closure of the office "bullying and blackmailing" and said the USA government was "blindly executing Israel's 'wish list'".




Donald Trump and his chief advisors on Israeli-Palestinian relations - his former real estate lawyer, his former bankruptcy lawyer, and his son-in-law - have shown no genuine interest in advancing peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Palestinian leadership is weighing retaliatory measures against U.S. penalties, including halting security cooperation, a senior Palestinian official said Wednesday.

Several U.S. presidents in both parties have tried to broker a peace accord without success.

Over the weekend, it announced it would cut $25 million in assistance for hospitals in east Jerusalem that provide critical care to Palestinian patients. -Israeli ties, Washington had tried to position itself as a neutral party in the vexing Mideast conflict, willing to call out both sides when they take steps seen as contrary to the pursuit of peace.

Khan al-Ahmar is in a key location near Jerusalem.

The Foreign Ministry (Wisma Putra) in a statement here yesterday said Malaysia firmly believes that the positions taken by the USA government were counterproductive towards finding a comprehensive and lasting solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The community in Al-Khan Al-Ahmar is one of the 46 Bedouin communities in the central West Bank that the United Nations considers at risk of forcible transfer. The U.S. embassy was later moved there from Tel Aviv.

"This is yet another affirmation of the Trump administration's policy to collectively punish the Palestinian people, including by cutting financial support for humanitarian services including health and education", said PLO secretary-general Saeb Erekat.


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