According to senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, the US State Department informed the PLO this weekend that they will not be allowed to retain their office in Washington D.C., a move designed to punish the Palestinians for having joined the International Criminal Court (ICC).
This is just the start of what may be a wholesale Trump Administration split with the Palestinians, as the administration is also reportedly threatening to expel the Palestinian Authority delegation if they don’t accept President Trump’s conditions on peace talks.
Palestinian officials say that if the PLO office is closed, they will be cutting off all communications with the United States, saying the effort proves the Trump Administration is under pressure from the Israelis.
Though Israel is not a party to the International Criminal Courts, they could face ICC trials for war crimes committed on Palestinian soil. Congress had previously urged the State Department to punish the Palestinians if they joined the court.
Trying to connect this to the peace talks is bizarre, however, as all indications are the Israelis are the ones reluctant to enter the peace talks, and the Palestinians have been waiting for word on if the US can coax them to the table.