RAMALLAH, September 16, 2018 (WAFA) - PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi condemned the Trump administration‘s decision to revoke the visas of the family of Head of the PLO General Delegation to the U.S. as ‘being vindictive and cruel‘.
On Tuesday, the U.S. administration informed staff at the PLO General Delegation Office in Washington D.C. of the guidelines for closing down the office.
The employees were ordered to cease all operations, close down all bank accounts, and they were told that there would be no renewal of the lease. The staff was given until October 13 to vacate the premises.
The U.S. administration also revoked the visas of Ambassador Husam Zomlot‘s wife and two children despite their being valid until 2020. Ambassador Zomlot‘s son Said,7, who is in second grade, and daughter Alma, 5, who is in kindergarten were pulled out of Horace Mann Elementary School in Washington D.C. last week and have since left the country.
The Head of the PLO General Delegation to the U.S. has not returned to Washington D.C. since being recalled in May by President Abbas in protest at the administration‘s decision to relocate the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
On this most recent outrageous development, PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi said: "As if the announcement that the U.S. would close our office in Washington D.C. was not enough, this vindictive action by the Trump administration is spiteful. The U.S. has taken its attempts to pressure and blackmail the Palestinians to a new level.”
“By deliberately targeting the family of Ambassador Zomlot, the U.S. administration has gone from cruel punishment to revenge against the Palestinians and their leadership even to the point of causing hardship to their innocent children and families,” said Ashrawi in a statement.
She added: “This unconscionable move goes against all diplomatic protocol and constitutes an inhumane escalation on the part of the Trump administration to persist in their policy of pressure and extortion.”
It also comes in revenge of the Palestinian leadership‘s firm and principled rejection of the Trump administration‘s unilateral measures under the so-called ‘ultimate deal‘ and subsequent blackmail, said Ashrawi.
“Instead of working for a genuine peace, the U.S. administration is destroying the chances of peace and undermining its own credibility and standing on all levels," Ashrawi concluded.