The Biden administration has had more official contact with Palestinian officials in its first two weeks than in its final three years by the Trump administration.
why it matters: Hadi Amr, deputy assistant secretary of the Israel-Palestine State Department, spoke on the phone with several Palestinian officials on Monday. The first talks were publicly announced between the two sides as the Biden administration stepped in to renew ties that were effectively removed since Donald Trump announced in December 2017 that he would be Were moved to the US Embassy in Jerusalem.
What they are saying “We discussed bilateral relations, the latest current developments and politics. It was a positive conversation. The communication was agreed to continue, ”the Palestinian Minister for Civil Affairs, Hussein al-Sheikh, tweeted after speaking with Amar.
big picture: The Biden administration plans to roll back many of Trump’s policies on Israel-Palestine.
- According to Biden administration officials, the US will resume aid to the Palestinians and reopen the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s office in Washington as well as the consulate in Jerusalem.
- The Biden administration will oppose the Israeli demolition of denigration, settlement buildings, and Palestinian homes.
Noteworthy: One of the key players shaping the administration’s policies on Israel-Palestine will be Amar. He is highly respected by Palestinian authorities, who see him as a balanced actor.
- The Biden administration does not plan to appoint a special envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and the issue will be handled mostly by the State Department.
Latest: Palestinian news website Amad reported on Saturday that Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shatayh and Palestinian Intelligence Director Majid Faraj also spoke with Amar over the phone.
- Shtayyeh confirmed that he discussed with the US Embassy in Jerusalem and the reopening of the PLO office in Washington, the renewal of US financial aid to the Palestinian Authority and the UN agency UNNWA for Palestinian Refugees.