The Arab League has reportedly approached the United States government regarding its recent decision to punitively shut down the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington DC, over the Palestinian leadership’s efforts to bring Israel before the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit approached the US President Donald Trump’s administration over the closure.
The league is reportedly attempting to do damage control and resume US-led peace negotiations following the PLO’s reaction to the closure, in which the group’s secretary general, Saeb Erekat, threatened to “put on hold all our communications with this American administration” if the US did in fact close the PLO Washington office.
In an effort to maintain communication between PA & US, Arab League's Secretary-General, Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, announced that he had contacted US administration over its recent threats to shut down Palestine Liberation Organisation office in Washington https://t.co/xka18q4DPs
— Abrar Khan (@khanabrar643) November 20, 2017
Aboul Gheit met with the league’s foreign minister, Riyad al-Maliki, where the two discussed the the official position of the PLO and the PA, “saying it will harm the peace process and the role of the US as peace broker.”
The PLO announced in September its decision to submit a request to the ICC to investigate illegal Israeli settlement activity in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Separately, four Palestinian human rights organizations submitted a 700-page communication to the ICC stating that Israeli officials have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
The State Department threatened to close the Palestinians' Washington office unless they enter into direct negotiations with Israel, and drop requests to ICC to prosecute Israelis for crimes against Palestinians. https://t.co/qdr9kJZOMI
Cartoon: @LatuffCartoons pic.twitter.com/OYZIq97aBg
— Mondoweiss (@Mondoweiss) November 20, 2017
International media reported that the PLO’s plans would breach conditions previously imposed by US Congress on the PLO, preventing it from taking any cases to the ICC.
The PLO office could allegedly be reopened 90 days after closure if Trump believes the PLO has entered into “direct, meaningful negotiations with Israel.”
(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)