US revokes Palestinian envoy’s visa, closes bank accounts

The Palestinians’ envoy to the US says he and his family’s US residency status were revoked and his his bank accounts were closed.

By: World Israel News Staff

Husam Zomlot, who until recently served as the Palestinians’ envoy to the US, told a Hezbollah-linked media outlet that he and his family’s residency status were recently revoked.

The move follows the US’ recent decision to shutter the Palestinians’ diplomatic mission in Washington, in addition to a string of massive cuts in American aid to Palestinian organizations and agencies, including their United Nations body, UNRWA. In total the US has eliminated over $500 million in aid to various Palestinian agencies and government organizations.

Zomlot confirmed to a Lebanon-based news site called Al-Mayadeen that US authorities had canceled his and his family’s visas and demanded that they leave America immediately. In addition, he claimed his bank accounts had also been closed.

Prior to the move, Zomlot and his family had been granted entry visas and immigration status permitting them to reside in the US until 202o. Earlier in the year, however, Zomlot had been recalled to Ramallah as part of the Palestinian Authority’s boycott of the US and all Trump officials since the US announced it recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December of 2017.

According to the report in Al-Mayadeen, Zomlot characterized the steps as part of the US response to Palestinian rejection of US President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” Mideast peace plan, which has yet to be unveiled. The PA, including its president Mahmoud Abbas, has consistently vowed to reject the plan, notwithstanding the fact that its terms remain largely unknown.

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Zomlot also accused Israel of being the ultimate cause of the US’ change of course in its approach to the Palestinians.

Trump, for his part, recently stated that the Palestinians would not receive any more aid until they return to negotiations with Israel to hammer out a lasting settlement to the decades-old conflict.

Zomlot recently made the news as a footnote in the ongoing anti-Semitism scandals plaguing UK Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose attendance at Zomlot’s wedding several years back was questioned by the Daily Mail based on accusations of Holocaust denial launched at Zomlot.

In 2014, Zomlot told the BBC that Israel was “fabricating” reports about ISIS’ beheading of journalists “as if they are fabricating also the story of the Holocaust, that it happened in Europe.”