Palestinian officials outraged at slow US policy toward the Palestinian Authority

Frustrated Palestinian officials say that US promises to the Palestinian Authority (PA) are just a “mirage”, and that US policy toward Ramallah under President Joe Biden is no different than that of his predecessor, Donald Trump, describing the contrast as a “cosmetic change”.

A Palestinian official close to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the 86-year-old leader is “outraged” by the slow pace of US policy toward the Palestinians. Privately, Ramallah officials have accused Washington of delaying and misleading them.

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US Vice President Joe Biden (right) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speak during a meeting at the presidential compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

US President Joe Biden (right) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

(Photo: AFP)

“Everything they promised evaporated, they didn’t keep any of their promises,” the official said.

Biden is still refusing to meet with Abbas, according to sources in Ramallah, who said Abbas canceled his trip to the United Nations General Assembly in September, as efforts by the Palestinian Authority to secure a meeting of Abbas with Biden failed. .

The two spoke once by phone last May, following the 11-day cross-border conflict between Israel and Gaza, and there is an official communication channel open between the two. Meanwhile, US officials are visiting Ramallah again.

Abbas was enraged at the Biden administration in a meeting with the Palestinian leadership last month, lashing out at US officials and calling them “liars for not keeping the promises they made to us.”

Those promises include reopening the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington, providing financial support to the Palestinian Authority, and reopening the US consulate in Jerusalem.

Recently, the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Mohammad Shtayyeh, a member of the Central Committee of the Fatah movement headed by Abbas, said that “the current US administration has no initiative for peace.”

The Palestinians had renewed support from the United States, both politically and financially.

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President Mahmoud Abbas gestures during a meeting with the Palestinian leadership to discuss the UAE's agreement with Israel to normalize relations.President Mahmoud Abbas gestures during a meeting with the Palestinian leadership to discuss the UAE's agreement with Israel to normalize relations.

President Mahmoud Abbas

(Reuters)

Ahmad Rafiq Awad, president of the Jerusalem Study Center at Al-Quds University, said there is a widespread feeling among Palestinian leaders that the US administration has let them down.

“They are frustrated and disappointed that there are hardly any tangible steps on the ground taken by the United States,” according to Rafiq Awad.

The PLO office remains closed with just a trickle of financial aid, and despite the promise of the United States to reopen its consulate in Jerusalem, no date has been set for such a move.

“The Palestinians were beaming when Biden won the White House, they had high expectations for him. They need to go down because the reality is that Biden can’t seem to put pressure on the Israeli government, ”he said.

Hasan Awwad, an expert on Palestinian affairs at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, said the Palestinian Authority lives in “isolation” and is so weak that it cannot make political demands on anyone, including the United States.

“These are difficult times for the Palestinian Authority and Abbas, hardly anyone is cooperating with him. Neither the EU nor the Arabs. Abbas is in trouble, ”according to Awwad.

During a press conference Saturday night, Israeli officials shut down any US plans to reopen its consulate in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told reporters that the disputed city is the “capital of a state” and that there is “no place” for the Palestinian US consulate in Jerusalem.

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the United States consulate building in Jerusalem the United States consulate building in Jerusalem

The United States Consulate Building in Jerusalem

(Photo: TPS)

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, standing next to Bennett, suggested that a site in the West Bank is acceptable to Israelis.

“As for the consulate, as we both said, it is not about politics and political stability. It is the State of Israel that refuses in principle to open a consulate in Jerusalem. If they (the United States) want to open a consulate in Ramallah, we have no problem with that, ”he said.

These comments angered Palestinian Authority officials, who have welcomed the administration’s plan; they quickly rejected the latest stance of the Israeli government. Abbas’s spokesman said the Palestinian Authority will only accept a US consulate in Jerusalem, which it called the capital of the Palestinian state.

US officials have said they want to go ahead with their plans to open the consulate; however, Israeli officials insist that the decision to allow the diplomatic mission is Israel’s.

Former Palestinian Authority Minister Ziad AbuZayyad said the White House is trying to repair the damage caused by its previous occupants.

“The Biden administration is trying to reverse all the stupid decisions made by the Trump administration, including the (Iran) nuclear deal, moving the embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” he said.

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U.S. Embassy"In jerusalemU.S. Embassy"In jerusalem

United States Embassy in Jerusalem

(Photo: Reuters)

Reopening the diplomatic mission in Jerusalem that was closed by Trump was a campaign promise from Biden, which he has so far failed to deliver. Professor Ronnie Shaked of the Harry S. Truman Research Institute of the Hebrew University says a crisis may be brewing between the two allies.

“It is going to be a crisis. Yes, there will be a crisis on the way. There will be some kind of pressure. The US president understands the situation in Israel and will delay his decision, ”Shaked said.

It was a move that delighted the Israeli administration and outraged the Palestinians. “This decision is undermining any possibility of a political solution to the conflict; therefore, the United States is required and demanded to reverse this decision and reopen a US embassy in East Jerusalem to deal with the Palestinians, ”AbuZayyad said.

The United States administration has refrained from pushing the consulate issue, pending the approval of the Israeli budget, which was approved late last week, thus avoiding the automatic dissolution of the government that would have caused the lack of approval. . Now that it is out of the way and the fragile government coalition seems secure, all eyes are on the White House for a possible announcement.

The article was written by Mohammad Al-Kassim and reprinted with permission from The media line.



Reference-www.ynetnews.com

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