By Sibel Ugurlu
GAZA CITY, Palestine
Palestinian resistance group Hamas on Sunday described the U.S. decision to close the Washington offices of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as “biased towards Israel”.
“Hamas considered the refusal of the U.S. State Department to renew the operating permission of the PLO in Washington and linking this decision to the membership of the State of Palestine to the international Criminal Court and its filing of cases against Israeli criminals as completely biased towards Israel,” Hamas said in a written statement.
The group also criticized the decision as encouraging Israel “to commit more crimes without deterrence”.
Hamas called on the Palestinian government to reject pressures and “to support the steadfastness of its people by achieving reconciliation and Palestinian unity”.
On Saturday, the U.S. threatened to close the Washington offices of the PLO over its calls to prosecute Israeli officials in the International Criminal Court for crimes against Palestinians.
Earlier on Monday, in retaliation, Palestine also threatened to cut off “all communication” with the U.S. over its warning to close the Washington offices of the PLO.
The PLO is the officially recognized representative of the Palestinian people while the Palestinian Authority is the de jure governing authority in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.