Israel Policy Forum issued the following statement:

Israel Policy Forum strongly opposes the recent decision by the US Administration to close the Palestinian mission to the United States. While the PLO has frequently been intransigent in its negotiating stance, the closure of its Washington office will do nothing to accomplish the White House’s stated objective of bringing the Palestinians to the table. On the contrary, the Trump Administration has removed itself from having any credible role as a mediator between the parties and has only increased the likelihood that the Palestinians will turn to international forums to pursue grievances against Israel.

The mission shutdown comes on the heels of another inexplicable American decision to slash assistance to East Jerusalem hospitals not already impacted by the previous $200 million cutoff to USAID projects in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This callous step by the US administration appears to be motivated purely by spite and will leave the most vulnerable Palestinians exposed. Such actions deliver yet another victory to extremist organizations and fundamentalist regimes, which will gladly fill the vacuum created by America’s abdication of its traditional role as a credible political interlocutor.

The fallout from this series of regrettable decisions will be felt most immediately in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza – not by the American policymakers responsible for them.

Ultimately, the Trump administration’s abandonment of nearly three decades of bipartisan American policy regarding Israeli-Palestinian peace and American assistance sets a new and dangerous precedent for US foreign relations. Future administrations may view the Trump White House’s actions as license to either further support an Israeli far right agenda or to tack completely in the opposite direction. The extreme steps being taken by the Trump administration serve not only to upend Israeli-Palestinian relations; they also place the long-term strength of the US-Israel relationship at risk.