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Abbas Threat to Prosecute Israel Could Lead to Closure of PLO’s DC Office

In response to Palestinian calls for Israel to be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court, the Trump administration on Friday advised the Palestinian Authority (PA) that its PLO Mission in Washington D.C. will be shut down unless the PA engages in “direct, meaningful negotiations with Israel.”

The Secretary of State Rex Tillerson determined that “certain statements made by Palestinian leaders about the ICC,” put the PA at odds with the existing law, the Associated Press reported [1].

PA President Mahmoud Abbas said in his September 2017 address [2] at the United Nations, “we have called on the International Criminal Court to open an investigation and to prosecute Israeli officials for their involvement in settlement activities and aggressions against our people.”

According to the State Department, should the PA engage in “direct, meaningful negotiations” with Israel within 90 days, the mission could be reopened and all restrictions on the PLO in the United States would be lifted.

In 1993, the PLO committed [3] to negotiate with Israel and reject terror in its effort to achieve statehood. In 2011, Abbas wrote [4] in an op-ed that he was seeking to “internationalize” the conflict and seek ways to “pave the way for us to pursue claims against Israel at the United Nations, human rights treaty bodies and the International Court of Justice,” instead of negotiating.

While refusing to negotiate with Israel, the Palestinians have pursued this policy of joining international organizations and treaties, and, by doing so, have adopted a “scorched earth” policy whereby the PA evades direct negotiations and instead hijacks the missions of international organizations to wage diplomatic warfare against Israel.

For example, after joining [5] the UN’s cultural agency UNESCO in 2011, the Palestinians and their diplomatic allies passed two resolutions that denied the Jewish and Christian historical connections to Jerusalem, despite continued discovery of archaeological evidence that proves the contrary. Both the U.S. and Israel withdrew [6] from UNESCO last month in reaction to its departure from its mission.

The PA has also pursued similar goals at the International Criminal Court, where it seeks [7] “to improperly use international law as a tool to bring about the establishment of a Palestinian state with or without Israel’s consent,” David Daoud assessed in a May 2015 article in The Tower.

Additionally, the PA has campaigned [8] to expel Israel from FIFA, the governing body of world soccer. Last month FIFA rejected [9] a Palestinian motion to penalize Israel saying that it would not get involved in the dispute.

In April 2014, Abbas refused to respond to an American framework for peace with Israel, but signed onto 15 international treaties, even as it was in flagrant violation [10] of eleven of those treaties, including conventions against torture and corruption.

[Photo: Wochit News / YouTube]