The Trump administration has not only shut down the Palestinian mission in Washington, it has also cancelled the visas of the Palestinian ambassador to Washington and his family, according to uncomfirmed reports on Sunday.
The Palestinian delegate Husam Zomlot told the Lebanon-based Al Mayadeen news outlet, that their visas had been revoked, their U.S. bank accounts closed, and that he had been ordered to leave the country “immediately.”
Zomlot and his family have reportedly left the country, and are en route to Ramallah, Ma’an reported.
Last week, the White House put an end to the PLO’s mission in Washington, citing the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to return to the negotiating table.
“We have permitted the PLO office to conduct operations that support the objective of achieving a lasting, comprehensive peace between Israelis and the Palestinians since the expiration of a previous waiver in November 2017,” a State Department spokesperson stated.
PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi denounced the expulsion of Zomlot as vindictive.
“As if the announcement that the U.S. would close our office in Washington DC was not enough, this vindictive action by the Trump administration is spiteful,” Ashrawi said on Sunday. “The US has taken its attempts to pressure and blackmail the Palestinians to a new level.”
U.S. officials have so far had no comment on the report.