Palestinians’ Washington office can remain open, but only for peace activities

The flag of the Palestine Liberation Organization seen above its offices in Washington, D.C., Nov. 18, 2017. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

The flag of the Palestine Liberation Organization seen above its offices in Washington, D.C., Nov. 18, 2017. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

(JTA) – The Trump administration will allow the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington, D.C., to remain open but will require it to “limit its activities to those related to achieving a lasting, comprehensive peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.”

The U.S. State Department announced the decision Friday, saying the restrictions could be lifted after 90 days if the United States determines the Israelis and Palestinians are engaged in “meaningful” peace negotiations. [Read more…]

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Mike Pence to address Knesset during December Israel visit

U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence speaks at the Christians United for Israel conference in Washington, D.C., July 17, 2017. (CUFI)

U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence speaks at the Christians United for Israel conference in Washington, D.C., July 17, 2017. (CUFI)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence will address the Knesset when he visits Israel next month.

Senior officials in Jerusalem told Israel’s Channel 10 news that Pence had suggested speaking to the Knesset, and that his offer was accepted. [Read more…]

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Palestinians threaten to cut ties with U.S. if Washington office closed

President Donald Trump shaking hands with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during a joint news conference in Bethlehem, in the West Bank, May 23, 2017. (Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump shaking hands with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during a joint news conference in Bethlehem, in the West Bank, May 23, 2017. (Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

(JTA) – The Palestinian Authority has threatened to suspend communications with the United States if moves ahead with closing the Palestine Liberation Organization’s office in Washington, D.C.

Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat called the possible closure a “very unfortunate and unacceptable” decision, and said that Washington was bowing to pressure from the Israeli government “at a time when we are trying to cooperate to achieve the ultimate deal.” [Read more…]

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Donald Trump is drafting an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan

President Donald Trump speaking on the phone in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., June 27, 2017. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump speaking on the phone in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., June 27, 2017. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(JTA) – U.S. President Donald Trump and his advisers have started drafting an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, officials told The New York Times.

In the article published Saturday, officials said they expect to address issues that have long frustrated negotiators, such as the status of Jerusalem and West Bank settlements. The framework could “take until early next year to finalize” and will not impose a timeline for negotiations, officials said. [Read more…]

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Palestinian Authority resumes full security cooperation with Israel

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The head of the Palestinian Authority (PA) police confirmed that it had resumed full security cooperation with Israel.

Hzem Atallah told journalists in Ramallah on Wednesday that security coordination had resumed completely about two weeks ago after it was partially suspended in July by order of PA President Mahmoud Abbas. The decision to resume security coordination was a result of recent meetings between Palestinian and U.S. government officials, i24 reported. [Read more…]

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Trump administration welcomes Palestinian Authority deployment to Gaza crossings

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Jason Greenblatt, U.S. President Donald Trump’s special envoy handling Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, welcomed the deployment of Palestinian Authority (PA) personnel to control crossings into the Gaza Strip and said it was “essential” that the Palestinian Authority control Gaza.

“The United States believes it is essential that the Palestinian Authority assume full responsibility for Gaza,” his statement said. Hamas control of Gaza has been a major impediment to restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace talks; renewing the talks is a key foreign policy goal for Trump. [Read more…]

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FIFA, in final ruling on Palestinian request, says it won’t sanction Israel

Members of Israel’s national football team posing before a match against Croatia and Israel at Stadium Gradski Vrt in Osijek, Croatia, March 23, 2016. (Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)
Members of Israel’s national football team posing before a match against Croatia and Israel at Stadium Gradski Vrt in Osijek, Croatia, March 23, 2016. (Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

Members of Israel’s national football team posing before a match against Croatia and Israel at Stadium Gradski Vrt in Osijek, Croatia, March 23, 2016. (Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

(JTA) – The FIFA soccer federation said it would not impose sanctions on Israel and its teams from the West Bank, rejecting repeated requests to do so by the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Israel’s six West Bank teams, which play in lower level leagues, are located in the settlements of Maale Adumim, Ariel, Kiryat Arba, Givat Zeev, Oranit and the Jordan Valley. The Palestinians have asked for their exclusion from international matches and the Israeli soccer association, which is a FIFA member. [Read more…]

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