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Palestinian Authority Slams Biden Administration As Weak On Israel Negotiations

P.A. Foreign Minister criticizes U.S. for failing to rein in Israeli construction and counterterror operations.
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The Palestinian Authority’s top diplomat on Thursday slammed the Biden administration as “weak” over its failure to date to launch a negotiating process with Israel.

“I’m frustrated,” P.A. Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki told a gathering of reporters in Ramallah, adding, “It seemed that [President Joe Biden] wanted to change all policies [former President Donald] Trump had taken, but not when it comes to Palestine.”

Al-Maliki pointed to what he said was Washington’s failure to rein in Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria and curtail IDF counterterror operations there.

“We have a weak [American] administration when it comes to Palestine,” said al-Maliki. “We re-engaged with the administration hoping that they would have the strength and the courage to move forward.”

Earlier this year, P.A. chief Mahmoud Abbas outlined a series of demands for Israeli concessions during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Ramallah.

In May, Abbas likened Israel to Nazi Germany during a speech at the United Nations marking “Nakba Day,” meaning the “disaster” or “catastrophe” of the re-establishment of Israel on May 14, 1948.

“Zionists continue to say that Israel made the desert bloom. As if Palestine was a desert and they made the desert bloom,” said Abbas. “These are lies. They continue to lie, like Goebbels, and they continue to lie until people believe them.”

US President Joe Biden (L) whispers to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas (R) as the latter receives the former during a welcome ceremony at the Palestinian Muqataa Presidential Compound in the city of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank on July 15, 2022. PHOTO BY MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/GETTY IMAGES  

The P.A. leader also demanded the “right of return” for some five million descendants of Palestinians displaced during the Arab-initiated war to eradicate the nascent Jewish state following its modern-day rebirth.

Last month, a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers called on the State Department to update Congress on negotiations to end the Palestinian Authority’s policy of paying terrorists.

The Trump administration cut off aid to Ramallah; Biden has restored more than $1 billion in funding to the Palestinians.

On Thursday, al-Maliki also said the P.A. is pushing for Saudi Arabia to condition any normalization with Israel on the creation of a Palestinian state.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on Monday said that the door for a U.S.-brokered deal between Jerusalem and Riyadh would remain open until the U.S. election season kicks into high gear in March.

While he said it was too early to comment on specific concessions Israel might have to make for an agreement, he noted that convincing Saudi Arabia to join the Abraham Accords was not only an Israeli interest but also an American one.

The Abraham Accords are a series of normalization agreements, between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan, achieved under Trump in 2020.


Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate

(Additional reporting provided by JNS Reporter)

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