U.S. Mulling Reopening PLO Offices in Washington

A Palestinian flag waves at the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington. (Reuters/Yuri Gripas)

The U.S. administration announced Wednesday it is examining the possibility of reopening the offices of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington.

The possible reopening of the PLO’s offices – shuttered in 2018 by the Trump administration – is meant as a show of goodwill on Washington’s part, after it decided to freeze the reopening of the U.S. Consulate for Palestinian affairs in Yerushalayim due to Israel’s opposition.

One hurdle facing the move, though, is the law that exposes all Palestinian representatives affiliated with the reopened PLO offices in Washington to personal lawsuits whenever there is a terrorist attack against Israel.

The Palestinians, on their part, want a guarantee from Washington their representatives will receive immunity from such lawsuits if the PLO offices will indeed be reopened.

“The reopening of the PLO offices in Washington is not a disaster as far as we are concerned,” explained a senior official in Yerushalayim.

“However, Israel will ask the Americans to condition the offices’ reopening with the withdrawal of the Palestinian’s complaint from The Hague,” added the source – referring to the Palestinians’ war crime complaint against Israel filed to the International Criminal Court at the The Hague in 2018 – which prompted Trump’s retaliatory shuttering of the PLO offices that same year.

Israel, meanwhile, estimates that if the Americans decide to reopen the PLO offices in Washington, they will declare that this is a step towards the realization of a two-state solution, as well as a step towards the reopening of the American Consulate for Palestinians in Yerushalayim.

At the same time, the Biden administration is examining the possibility of increasing financial support for the Palestinian Authority – which Israel supports, but only under the condition that the Palestinians waive their monthly payments to terrorists with blood on their hands.

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