Palestinians freeze ties with US

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The United States wants the Palestine Liberation Organization to keep its Washington office open and is in talks with Palestinian officials about the issue despite a US decision that could trigger its closure, the State Department said on Tuesday.

US President Donald Trump now has a 90-day window to decide whether "the Palestinians have entered into direct, meaningful negotiations with Israel" - in which case he can waive the requirement to shutter the office.

"The upcoming stage is crucial and a chance to correct the Palestinian-American relations", he said, adding the Palestinian decision "was made in response to the unaccepted American measures".

Over the weekend the US State Department informed Malki that the PLO office in DC would be closed because the Palestinians had violated a 2015 US Congressional mandate.

A State Department official on Saturday said under US law, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson could not renew a certification for the PLO office to operate "given certain statements made by the Palestinian leaders about the International Criminal Court".

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"We have called on the International Criminal Court to open an investigation and prosecute Israeli officials for their involvement in settlement activities and aggressions against our people", Abbas told the United Nations General Assembly in September. The rights groups said "high-level Israeli civilian and military officials have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the occupied West Bank".

Al-Malki said Tuesday that the Trump administration is already "reconsidering" its decision concerning the PLO office in Washington following the statements made by the Palestinian Authority, as reported by the Israeli Haaretz daily.

In 1987, Congress outlawed any PLO presence on USA soil due to the group's terror activities at the time.

The Palestinian leadership has reportedly cut off communications with the Trump administration, CNN reported. "This unprecedented action threatens US-Palestinian relations, as well as the entire peace process", the ADC said, as cited by the Palestine News Agency, WAFA.

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