Saeb Erekat, fresh off his American lung transplant, huffs and puffs
The Trump administration is planning multi-year peace effort, Michael Wilner at the Jerusalem Post reports:
Deadlines are not a part of President Donald Trump’s peace effort, led by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, and Jason Greenblatt, the US special representative for international negotiations. These two refuse to bind themselves in timetables as they prepare what they describe as an “architecture” for their upcoming initiative.
While details are not known, there appears to be a lot of jockeying going on to set the proper conditions to overcome historical Palestinian intransigence.
It’s in that context that a blow-up over the Washington, D.C. office of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) should be viewed.
The PLO office has been at risk because of a provision enacted in 2015 that would require closing the office, among other things, if the Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas took steps to stymie peace negotiations, such as trying to take Israel to the International Criminal Court at The Hague.
The [State] department asserts that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ran afoul of the law in September when he called on the ICC to investigate and prosecute Israel for war crimes against the Palestinians.
“The secretary concluded that the factual record, certain statements made by Palestinian leaders about the ICC, did not permit (Tillerson) to make the factual certification required by the statute” to keep the PLO mission open, a State Department official said.
In a speech to the UN General Assembly, Abbas said the Palestinians have asked the the ICC “to open an investigation and to prosecute Israeli officials for their involvement in settlement activities and aggressions against our people.”
TheAP reports of the consequence, US puts Palestinians on notice: DC office may be shuttered
The Trump administration put the Palestinians on notice Friday that it will shutter their office in Washington unless they’ve entered serious peace talks with Israel, U.S. officials said, potentially giving President Donald Trump more leverage as he seeks an elusive Mideast peace deal.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has determined that the Palestinians ran afoul of an obscure provision in a U.S. law that says the Palestine Liberation Organization’s mission must close if the Palestinians try to get the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis for crimes against Palestinians. A State Department official said that in September, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas crossed that line by calling on the ICC to investigate and prosecute Israelis.
But the law leaves the president a way out, so Tillerson’s declaration doesn’t necessarily mean the office will close.
Trump now has 90 days to consider whether the Palestinians are in “direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel.” If Trump determines they are, the Palestinians can keep the office. The official said it was unclear whether the U.S. might close the office before the 90-day period expires, but said the mission remains open at least for now.
The notice of possible closure has set off PA hyperventilation. The Palestinian Wafa News reports, President’s spokesman lashes out at plans to shut down PLO office in Washington
Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh expressed deep surprise on Saturday at reports that the US administration is going to close the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington if the Palestinians do not enter into serious peace talks with Israel “particularly since President Mahmoud Abbas’ meetings with US President Donald Trump were characterized by a full understanding of steps to create a climate that allows for the resumption of the peace process,” as he put it.
“The Palestinian side has not received any ideas even though many months have passed and in spite of numerous meetings held with the US side, which disqualifies the US administration from playing the role of a mediator and removes itself from the job as sponsor of the political process to achieve the peace President Trump has promised to reach,” said Abu Rudeineh in a statement.
He stressed that this US measure that aims to close the PLO office in Washington “is unprecedented in the history of US-Palestinian relations, which could have serious consequences on the peace process and US-Arab relations, as well as serves as a blow to peace-making efforts and a reward to Israel, which is working to obstruct the US efforts by persisting with its settlement policy and its refusal to accept the principle of the two-state solution.”
Sael Erekat, a senior Palestinian negotiator Secretary-General of the PLO executive committee , is a major league blow-hard. Erekat recently underwent a lung transplant at a hospital in Fairfax, Virginia, after undergoing 5 years of treatment in Israel.
Erekat apparently has regained lung capacity because he is huffing and puffing about retaliation.
The PLO tweeted out this video of Erekat threatening to cut off communions with the Trump administration if the PLO office is closed:
“In case they unofficially [sic] close the office of the PLO in Washington, D.C., we would put on hold all out communications with this American administration.”
Yeah, that should work.DONATE
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