Thu, 30 Jun 2022

RAMALLAH, May 24 (Xinhua) -- The Palestinian Authority (PA) called on the United States to remove the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) from the lists of terror classified by the U.S. Congress, a senior Palestinian official said on Tuesday.

The PA addressed an official letter to the U.S. 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 organization Kach was removed from those lists," Al-Sheikh said.

The Palestinian request comes days after U.S. State Department announced that it removed five extremist groups believed to be no longer active from its list of foreign terrorist organizations, including the Israeli "Kach" organization.

The Palestinians accuse the organization 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 U.S. Congress declared the PLO a "terrorist organization" and prohibited it from opening any of its office in the United States.

Despite the decision, the Congress allowed U.S. presidents to issue an exemption with their consent, which every U.S. 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 (ICC) against Israel.

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