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Israel Wants U.S. To Shut Down Palestinian Office In Washington

Seeking retaliation after the Wednesday vote by the [Interpol]](http://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-palestinians-interpol/interpol-approves-membership-for-state-of-palestine-over-israeli-objections-idUSKCN1C20UV) to admit the Palestinians as a full member state, the Israeli government is asking the United States to shut down offices of the Palestinian delegation in Washington.

According to reports in Israel, the idea was raised in a meeting of Israeli officials with President Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt and the ambassador to Tel Aviv David Friedman. The Israelis reported that they had raised the issue with members of Congress, who could move forward legislation requiring the closing of the office.

The Palestinian delegation in Washington is defined as the General Delegation of the PLO, a lower diplomatic status than a full embassy.

“Why is Netanyahu doing this? What does the Interpol have to do with the Palestinian office in Washington?” asked Husam Zolmot, head of the PLO delegation to Washington in response to the Israeli demand. Zolmot told the Forward the request is “ridiculous and childish” and argued that asking for the shuttering of the PLO office is Netanyahu’s way “to preempt any possibility of Donald Trump reaching the ultimate deal.”

Contact Nathan Guttman at guttman@forward.com or on Twitter @nathanguttman

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