Photo Credit: Flash 90
Palestinian Authority chief negotiator and Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), Saeb Erekat, speaks during a press conference in the city of Jericho on February 15, 2017.

PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat slammed Wednesday’s announcement by the U.S. State Department that Hamas Political Bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh had been added to its list of global terrorists.

As a result, all of Haniyeh’s property and interests in property subject to U.S. jurisdiction have been blocked, and U.S. citizens are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with him.

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Several hours after the announcement, the Gaza-based Hamas terrorist organization denounced the move and said it would “not deter” the group from continuing its terrorist activities.

“The American decision to include Haniyeh on the terrorist list is a failed attempt to pressure the resistance. This decision will not deter us from continuing the resistance option to expel the occupation,” a Hamas spokesperson said.

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) also issued a statement on the official Facebook page of the Palestinian Authority’s leading Fatah faction, calling for “the achievement of national unity in order to preserve the Palestinian National project.

“The Palestine Liberation Organization rejects and denounces the decision of the United States Treasury Department to include Ismail Haniyeh on the terror blacklist.

“Saeb Erekat, Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) rejected and denounced the decision of the United States Treasury Department to include the Hamas chief … and called for the removal of the causes of division and the achievement of national unity in order to preserve the Palestinian National Project and to address the schemes aimed at liquidating the project,” the post on Facebook read.

Erekat owes his life to doctors in the United States and Israel. He spent nearly a year in treatment at hospitals in the Jewish State for pulmonary fibrosis – a deadly lung condition – and then received a lung transplant in the United States after it became clear that he would not be a priority on Israel’s organ donation registry due to being a non-citizen.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.