Palestine urges US to remove PLO from terror lists

Ramallah: The Palestinian Authority (PA) has urged the US to remove the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) from the lists of terror classified by the US Congress, a senior Palestinian official said.

The PA addressed an official letter to the US administration, calling on it to remove the PLO from the lists of terror, Hussein al-Sheikh, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, said in a press statement.

“We expressed our shock and our absolute rejection of the persistence of this unjust and unfair classification of the Palestinian people who live under the occupation while the Israeli terrorist organisation Kach was removed from those lists,” Al-Sheikh added.

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The Palestinian request comes days after US State Department announced that it removed five extremist groups believed to be no longer active from its list of foreign terrorist organisations, including the Israeli “Kach” organisation, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Palestinians accuse the organisation of being responsible for killing and wounding dozens of worshipers at the Ibrahimi mosque in the southern West Bank city of Hebron in 1994 and being behind the incitement to kill and displace Palestinians.

In 1987, the US Congress declared the PLO a “terrorist organisation” and prohibited it from opening any of its office in the US.

Despite the decision, the Congress allowed US Presidents to issue an exemption with their consent, which every US President has done since the signing of the Oslo interim peace agreement between the PLO and Israel in 1993, except former President Donald Trump.

In September 2018, the Trump administration closed the PLO office in Washington D.C. and its banking accounts to pressure the Palestinians to stop working with the International Criminal Court against Israel.

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