The Trump administration closed the PLO office in Washington because it is pro-Israel.
The PLO mission in Washington was a source of controversy since it opened in 1994 during the period of exhilaration that followed the signing of the Oslo agreement. While the justification for allowing the PLO an office was to facilitate the continuation of peace talks, many people questioned the wisdom of having a diplomatic outpost for a terrorist organization in America’s capital. Those questions grew louder in recent years as the Palestinians thumbed their noses at successive U.S. presidents, became increasingly recalcitrant, culminating in their refusal to communicate with the Trump administration, and consciously violating the will of Congress.
Therefore, when the administration announced on September 10, 2018, plans to close the PLO office, it should have come as no surprise to the Palestinians. In 2015, during the Obama administration, Congress required the Secretary of State to certify that the PLO wasn’t trying to use the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Israel. The Palestinians ignored the implicit warning, joined the court and filed several complaints against Israel and Israeli official without suffering any negative consequences from the United States (see for example, Marlise Simons, “Palestinians deliver accusations of Israeli war crimes to International Criminal Court,” Orange County Register, June 25, 2015; “French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC,” France24, July 25, 2014; John Reed, “Palestinians join ICC in politically charged move,” Financial Times, April 1, 2015).
In announcing the shutdown, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said: