Trump administration revokes Palestinian envoy's USA residency permit

US revokes Palestinian envoy’s visa closes bank accounts

US revokes Palestinian envoy’s visa closes bank accounts

Ambassador Husam Zomlot said his family, including his two young children, had left the USA after they were informed that their visas, which were due to expire in 2020 were no longer valid.

Earlier in the year, however, Zomlot had been recalled to Ramallah as part of the Palestinian Authority's boycott of the United States and all Trump officials since the U.S. announced it recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December of 2017.

The U.S. also froze all PLO-affiliated bank accounts.

Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO's executive committee, reacted to the news by accusing the Trump administration of being "vindictive".

The Palestine Liberation Organisation's ambassador in Washington said on Sunday that his family had left the U.S. after being informed that their diplomatic visas would expire next month when the PLO's office in the country is shut down. "The U.S. has sought to pressure and blackmail the Palestinians to a new level", he said. "Children, spouses and family have nothing to do with political rows".

Zomlot said that two embassy employees had agreed to meet with State Department staff last week.

Some 600,000 Palestinian-Americans were harmed by the closure of the PLO's office in Washington, Quds Press reported yesterday.

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"However, the PLO has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel".

The move is the latest in a long line of sanctions imposed by the Trump administration on Palestinian officials and institutions.

"Ties between the PA and Trump have deteriorated to so unprecedented a nadir" that the PA is considering cutting all remaining contacts, PA officials were quoted by Israel's Channel 10 as saying.

Saeb Erekat, the PLO's secretary-general, said the closure of the office was "another affirmation of the Trump administration's policy to collectively punish the Palestinian people".

Tensions between the US and Palestinian leaders have been heightened since Trump announced last December that the USA would relocate its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, as Palestinians also view the city as holy territory. In total the USA has eliminated over $500 million in aid to various Palestinian agencies and government organizations.

In a Rosh Hashanah greeting to Jewish leaders, Trump said he told the Palestinians that he wouldn't give aid without a peace deal.

The Palestinian leadership has so far rejected the plan sight unseen, describing it as a "conspiracy aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause".

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