Trump administration revokes visas for PLO envoy’s family: Report

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WASHINGTON :The Trump administration on Sunday revoked visas for the family of Palestinian Ambassador Husam Zomlot, a news report said, days after the US government closed the PLO offices in Washington and elsewhere in the country.

According to the report by The Hill, the PLO alleged that the visas of Zomlot’s wife and two young children have been revoked following the closure of the PLO’s office in Washington early this week. It called the decision as “spiteful”.

Ambassador Zomlot has not been in the US since he was recalled by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas amid tensions over President Trump’s decision to relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The decision drew a worldwide reaction, with many countries criticizing it.

“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,” PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement, according to the Hill report.

There was no immediate response from the White House and the State Department to the new and requests for comments about the visa.

The PLO has also claimed that the Trump administration has ordered official to close the group’s bank accounts after the decision to close the Washington office. “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 was quoted as saying by the report.

It may be mentioned here that the State Department announced the closure of the PLO office in Washington on grounds that it had failed to take steps “to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel.”

The decision to close the office also involved the Palestinian plans to bring charges against Israel for war crimes in the International Criminal Court.

The US aired its own frustration against the ICC last week when White House National Security Adviser John Bolton threatened to impose sanctions against the ICC after it announced an investigation into alleged US war crimes in Afghanistan.

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