"The rights of the Palestinian people are not for sale."
The Palestine Liberation Organization offices in Washington, DC will be shut down at the order of the State Department.
According to a Monday statement by State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert, the decision came in response to the PLO's attempts to bring criminal charges against Israeli officials before the International Criminal Court and to convince The Hague to open an investigation into Israel's rapacious East Jerusalem settlement policies.
The statement also blamed the Palestinians for sabotaging the peace process. “PLO leadership has condemned a US peace plan they have not yet seen and refused to engage with the US government with respect to peace efforts and otherwise," the statement said.
Nauert expressed commitment to the peace process, emphasizing that the US is not "retreating from our efforts to achieve a lasting and comprehensive peace."
The decision follows a series of cutbacks of US aid to the Palestinian Authority that have been announced in recent weeks.
Representatives of the PLO, which is required to vacate its Washington mission before Oct. 10, issued fiery statements condemning the administration's decision.
"The rights of the Palestinian people are not for sale," said PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat said in a Monday statement anticipating the official announcement. "[The PLO] will not succumb to US threats and bullying and that we will continue our legitimate struggle for freedom, justice, and independence, including by all political and legal means possible."
Erekat further accused the US "aiding and abetting [Israel's] crimes." He added, “These people have decided to stand on the wrong side of history by protecting war criminals and destroying the two-state solution."
Speaking on Monday at The Federalist society in Washington, the president's national security advisor John Bolton assailed the ICC, which is currently conducting an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by the US military in Afghanistan.
Asserting that the United States will not cooperate with the ICC's "illegitimate" probe, Bolton said that "for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us," according to The Associated Press.