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Obama administration: PLO’s U.N. elevation broke no laws

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WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Obama administration said the Palestinians’ ascension in U.N. membership status did not violate U.S. law.

William Burns, the deputy secretary of state, in a Jan. 8 determination said the Palestinians did not break the U.S. law that requires shutting down the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington in the event that the Palestinians declare statehood.

The Palestinians have not "obtained in the U.N. or any specialized agency thereof the same standing as member states or full membership as a state outside an agreement negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians," Burns said.

A number of recent congressional initiatives since the Nov. 29 U.N. Generally Assembly vote that elevated the Palestinians to non-member observer state have sought to penalize the Palestinians by closing the PLO office.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee has backed the initiatives, while the Reform movement and a number of smaller liberal Jewish groups have opposed them.

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