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A spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) confirmed that it had received instructions from Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas "regarding closing down all communication lines with the Americans".

"What is the use of holding any meetings with them when they close our office?"

While the United States does not recognize statehood for the Palestinians, President Bill Clinton waived a 1980s-era law that barred them from having an office and allowed the PLO, which formally represents all Palestinians, to open a mission in Washington in 1994.

"The U.S. threat to close the PLO's mission in Washington as punishment for seeking justice at the ICC makes any U.S. commitment to justice for serious crimes seem at best selective", said Omar Shakir, the rights group's researcher on the conflict.

The Trump administration is reconsidering its position on closing the Palestinian mission in Washington, said Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki on Tuesday morning.

Over the weekend a State Department official said that it could not renew a certification for the PLO office in the American capital that expired this month.

The Palestinian move comes as the Trump administration seeks to broker the long-out-of-reach Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

In 2015, the US Congress introduced a provision that Palestinians may not try to wield influence over the ICC concerning investigations into Israelis.

This Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 photo shows the Washington office of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

The decision comes after the Trump administration threatened to shut down the PLO office last week, citing a rarely invoked 2015 law saying that if the Palestinians move against Israel at the International Criminal Court (ICC), the USA can close the PLO's base in the United States capital.

"The upcoming stage is crucial and a chance to correct the Palestinian-American relations", he said, adding the Palestinian decision "was made in response to the unaccepted American measures".

Earlier this week, the US threatened to shut down the PLO office in Washington if the Palestinians insist to sue Israel in global courts and if the Palestinians refuse to hold direct peace talks with Israel.

The State Department said it was looking into the issue, according to CNN.


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