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Abbas said considering severing last remaining ties with Washington

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas speaks during a meeting with the Palestinian Central Council in the West Bank city of Ramallah on August 15, 2018
ABBAS MOMANI / AFP
PA officials warn U.S. policies encourage extremism, could lead to increased violence in the region

Furious with President Donald Trump’s recent actions, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is said to be considering cutting its last remaining ties with the U.S. government, including critical security cooperation, Israel’s Channel 10 news reported Tuesday.

The move comes in response to the Trump government’s recent series of steps designed to punish the PA for what the administration has deemed its failure to come to the negotiating table, including the closing of the delegation’s office in Washington.

Officials close to President Abbas told Channel 10 that American measures, including severing funding for UNRWA, the UN refugee agency dealing with Palestinians, and East Jerusalem hospitals, could lead to an upsurge of violence in the region, and has the PA considering severing all ties with Washington.

“Trump has become an enemy of the Palestinian people and an enemy of peace. The American president is encouraging terror and extremism with his policies that could lead to violence in the region, which will explode in the faces of Israel and the US,” the officials told Channel 10.

The closure in Washington is yet another blow in a series of measures imposed by Trump’s administration in an attempt to pressure the Palestinians to play ball with its faltering attempt at getting them back to the negotiating table with Israel.

Abbas and his top aides have shunned the United State's role as mediator in the peace process following Trump's decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem and formally recognize the city as Israel’s capital.

In retribution, Washington has taken an ax to its previously generous aid program for the Palestinian territories.

In recent weeks, the United States has cut more than $200 million in bilateral aid to the Palestinians in addition to the funding cuts to UNRWA and East Jerusalem hospitals.

Despite officially boycotting the Trump administration following the embassy move, Palestinian security officials have continued meetings with U.S. intelligence officials, including a meeting between the CIA and a Palestinian delegation of security and intelligence officials in Washington earlier this month.

The PA engages in crucial security cooperation with the U.S., a partnership which Abbas hints may end as a consequence of Trump’s policies.

THOMAS COEX (AFP)

Announcing the decision to close the Washing mission Monday, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert fingered as the main reason the Palestinian leadership's boycott of the White House over its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The "PLO leadership has condemned a U.S. peace plan they have not yet seen and refused to engage with the U.S. government with respect to peace efforts," she said.

On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the Trump administration's decision to bring down the shutters on the Palestine Liberation Organization delegation in Washington.

"Israel supports American actions that are designed to make it clear to the Palestinians that refusing to negotiate and attempts to attack Israel in international forums," said Netanyahu shortly after the end of two-day Jewish new year celebrations.

The soon-to-be expelled Palestinian envoy to Washington, Dr Husam Zumlot, accused the Trump administration of "blindly executing Israel's wish list" and said it was a "dark day for peace in the Middle East."

Comments

(5)

Trump president for life

A bass will have done the Donald a big big favor if he severed ties!

Go ahead severe ALL ties who cares

The Palestinians are squatters on our land. Please remove them back to Jordan.

It has been > 100 years of anti-Jews Arabic violence Therefore no change in near future.

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