The Palestinian Authority was thrilled to learn of the new U.S. administration’s intention to reopen the the Palestine Liberation Organization offices in D.C., closed by former president Donald Trump in one of the many moves that Israel hailed and made Palestinians bristle.
“We welcome the contents of the speech of the U.S. administration’s representative to the (UN) Security Council yesterday,” Jibril Rajoub, a senior official in the ruling Fatah party, said. “The opening of the East Jerusalem consulate, the reopening of the PLO office in Washington, and the new U.S. administration’s commitment to the two-state solution are welcome positive indicators.”
Washington’s interim United Nations envoy Richard Mills said that President Joe Biden intended to “restore credible U.S. engagement with Palestinians as well as Israelis.”
The Palestinian Authority has been waiting until after Trump’s departure from office to renew relations with the United States. During Trump’s presidency, Israel enjoyed many favorable U.S. decisions including moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, and also many that were seen as harmful to the Palestinians.
Trump cut off U.S. financial aid to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) — something that Biden plans to renew. Trump challenged the Palestinians to stop paying the families of terrorists and suicide bombers, something they were funding to the tune of over three hundred million dollars a year. All this, while their economy sputters. So, the Trump administration tool actions against them.
“We expect that the new administration will raise a red card to the Israeli unilateral expansionist steps on the ground, dictating realities to undermine any possibility for the emergence of a Palestinian independent sovereign state,” Rajoub says.
By focusing on making peace with other nations while ignoring the Palestinians, the Trump initiative, led by Jared Kushner, was wildly successful in wooing several Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East to make peace with Israel. Will President Biden continue to build on this success or go back to what clearly didn’t work—negotiating with a regime that doesn’t really want peace at all?