The Trump administration backtracked on Saturday on its decision to order the Palestinians’ office in Washington to close, instead saying it would merely impose limitations on the office that it expected would be lifted after 90 days.
Last week, US officials said the Palestine Liberation Organization mission couldn’t stay open because the Palestinians had violated a provision in US law requiring the office to close if the Palestinians try to get the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis.
The move triggered a major rift in US-Palestinian relations that threatened to scuttle President Donald Trump’s ambitious effort to broker Mideast peace before it ever got off the ground.
Yet the United States delayed shuttering the office for a week while saying it was working out the details with the Palestinians, before abruptly reversing course late today, as many Americans were enjoying a long Thanksgiving Day weekend.
Vasquez said even those restrictions will be lifted after 90 days if the US determines the Israelis and Palestinians are engaged in serious peace talks. The White House, in an effort led by Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, has been preparing a comprehensive peace plan to present to both sides in the coming months.