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Verizon Warned to Disconnect PLO in Washington

The Israel Law Center warns Verizon and a realtor to stop supplying phone service and office space to the PLO or face criminal charges.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 1/23/2012, 3:04 PM

PLO and and American flags
PLO and and American flags
Israel news photo montage

The Israel Law Center (Shurat HaDin) has warned Verizon and a realtor to stop supplying phone service and office space to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) or face criminal charges.

The civil rights group lawyer, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, warned the companies in separate letters that they are violating an American law forbidding private groups or individuals to supply aid to terror groups.

The PLO’s 18th Avenue offices in Washington are rented from Endeka Enterprises, and Verizon supplies its phone connections.

Darshan-Leitner explained to Arutz Sheva Monday that a presidential waiver has allowed the U.S. government to deal with the PLO since the days of the Oslo Accords, despite PLO affiliates being declared outlawed terrorist organizations.

She said, “the waiver does not apply to private groups.”

The attorney, who has won hundreds of millions of dollars for terror victims in lawsuits against Muslim terror groups, pointed out that the PLO includes Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Palestine Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), all outlawed terrorist groups.

She emphasized that the Palestinian Authority (PA), headed by Mahmoud Abbas, recently reached an agreement to cooperate with Hamas and violated the Oslo Accords -- signed by the United States, Israel and the PA -- by becoming a member of the United Nations' UNESCO agency and trying to win full membership in the United Nations.

The Oslo Accords prohibit unilateral actions by Israel and the PA, which were engaged in direct talks for more than two decades for a political solution to their differences.

“The PLO’s funding is shared and distributed among its constituent members, including the PFLP,” the letters state. “The PLO’s activities are carried out specifically for the benefit of its constituent members, including the PFLP. Similarly, pursuant to their recent leadership merger agreement, Hamas and PIJ will also be recipients of these services and benefits."

Darshan-Leitner told Arutz Sheva she would give Verizon and Endeka Enterprises several days to reply before advising the American government justice officials that they are in violation of the law.

She added that the companies also may be liable to lawsuits if the terrorist groups are involved in any future attacks on American citizens, in Israel or elsewhere.

Congress last summer considered a bill that would change the presidential waiver and effectively shut down the PLO's mission in Washington.