Erekat: Closing Palestine’s diplomatic mission in Washington collective punishment

RAMALLAH, Closing Palestine’s diplomatic mission in Washington is collective punishment against the Palestinian people, Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said in a press release on Monday.

We have been notified by a US official of their decision to close the Palestinian Mission to the US, said Erekat. This is yet another affirmation of the Trump Administration’s policy to collectively punish the Palestinian people, including by cutting financial support for humanitarian services including health and education.

The US is also going to warn the International Criminal Court (ICC), based in The Hague, of not prosecuting any Israeli official as demanded by the Palestinians otherwise it will face serious repercussions.

Erekat warned that this dangerous escalation shows that the US is willing to disband the international system in order to protect Israeli crimes and attacks against the land and people of Palestine as well as against peace and security in the rest of our region.

He reiterated that the rights of the Palestinian people are not for sale, that we will not succumb to US threats and bullying and that we will continue our legitimate struggle for freedom, justice, and independence, including by all political and legal means possible. Accordingly, we continue to call upon the International Criminal Court to open its immediate investigation into Israeli crimes.

The PLO official called on the international community to react to the US move. Lowering the flag of Palestine in Washington DC means much more than a new slap by the Trump Administration against peace and justice; it symbolizes the US attacks against the international system as a whole, including the Paris Convention, UNESCO and the Human Rights Council among others.

He said that as a result of closing the Palestine Mission, the PLO will take the necessary measures to protect the rights of Palestinians living in the US to access their consular services.

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency