US raises pressure on Palestinians by closing Washington mission

The United States has decided to close the Palestinian mission in Washington in the latest move against them by President Donald Trump, a Palestinian official said Monday, denouncing it as a “dangerous escalation.”

The closure comes as Trump seeks to force the Palestinian leadership, which has cut off contact with the White House, to negotiate as his team pursues a plan for Middle East peace — what he calls the “ultimate deal.”

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More… White House expected to warn of sanctions, other penalties if international court moves against Americans

The United States will threaten Monday to punish individuals that cooperate with the International Criminal Court in a potential investigation of U.S. wartime actions in Afghanistan, according to people familiar with the decision.

The Trump administration is also expected to announce that it is shutting down a Palestinian diplomatic office in Washington because Palestinians have sought to use the international court to prosecute U.S. ally Israel, those people said.

White House national security adviser John Bolton is expected to outline threats of sanctions and a ban on travel to the United States for people involved in the attempted prosecution of Americans before the international court in an address Monday.

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