Report: Israel working to shutter Palestinian embassy in Washington

Israel is reportedly working on a plan to shut down the Palestinian embassy in Washington. 

Israel, with the help of US lawmakers, is formulating a plan to shut down the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) embassy in Washington if the Palestinians pursue their diplomatic warfare against the Jewish state.

Israel’s Channel 11 reported Thursday that the plan was initiated a day after the Palestinians succeeded in joining Interpol, despite Israel’s efforts to against it.

The plan was reportedly discussed Wednesday during a meeting in Jerusalem between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; President Donald Trump’s special envoy Jason Greenblatt; US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, and Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer.

According to a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office, Netanyahu raised the issue of the PLO’s call on Sunday to try Israelis before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, a step which violates signed peace agreements with Israel. The Israeli leader told the three diplomats that “the actions taken by the Palestinian leadership in recent days severely impairs the chances of achieving peace.”

The Palestinian diplomatic warfare “would not go unanswered,” he stated.

US lawmakers have unsuccessfully attempted to shutter the Palestinian embassy in the past. In February 2016, several congressmen took action against the PLO embassy in Washington over the Palestinians’ diplomatic warfare against Israel at the ICC.

Read  Netanyahu reportedly 'stressed' over ICC arrest threat, seeks US support

The PLO Accountability Act called for action against the Palestinians in wake of their actions, which were described as counter efforts towards peace.

The Anti-Terrorism Act of 1987 prohibited the PLO from maintaining an office in the US. However, since 1994, this prohibition has been waived by consecutive administrations. A PLO office has continued to operate in Washington for the purpose of implementing the Oslo Accords and facilitating the Middle East Peace process, an objective the lawmakers believed the Palestinians have been actively countering.

The bill did not come to fruition. In December 2015, the State Department rejected a petition by 32 members of Congress to close the PLO embassy in Washington in response to the wave of Palestinian terror attacks.

Fear of Further Palestinian Diplomatic Warfare

According to the Channel 11 report, the US objected to the Palestinians’ acceptance to Interpol, but they are more concerned about their attempt to join the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Washington has reportedly told Ramallah that their joining of WIPO would force the US to leave, as per Congress’ decision and US law that prevents the US from making contributions to a UN agency if “Palestine” is a member. Such a move that would cause WIPO significant financial and commercial damage.

The US is the biggest source of patent fees for WIPO, which earns the majority of its revenue from patent fees.

The Palestinians currently hold a status of an observer state at WIPO.

Over recent years, the Palestinians have made efforts to join several international bodies, such as the ICC, in an attempt to circumvent negotiations with Israel and unilaterally attain international recognition. Memberships in these organizations would provide new opportunities to challenge Israel’s legitimacy and besmirch the Jewish state on the global front. The Palestinian Authority (PA) had launched a diplomatic campaign against Israel and has been utilizing these forums as a platform for that purpose.

Earlier this month, the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) turned down a request by the PA to join the organization as a member state.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has accepted “Palestine” and has since become a virulent anti-Israel body.

By: World Israel News Staff