PA ‘still in contact’ with Trump administration despite vow to cut ties


Arabic media report, citing Palestinian officials, says diplomatic channels remain open although Abbas declared a boycott of DC in Jerusalem recognition row

Times of Israel

The Palestinian Authority has retained some contact with the Trump administration, despite vowing to cut off all ties to the US leadership in protest of its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat reported Saturday.

The paper, citing Palestinian officials, said that while Trump’s peace envoys have been shunned by the PA, diplomatic channels remain open, and were never severed.

According to the report, a US official has been invited to the opening of the Palestinian Central Council summit in Ramallah on Sunday. At that meeting, senior Palestinian leaders will debate responses to Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem.

Trump’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital infuriated the Palestinian leadership, who see East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state they have sought to gain through American-led negotiations.

Trump has said his decision merely recognized the reality that Jerusalem already serves as Israel’s capital and wasn’t meant to prejudge the final borders of the city.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas has said that after the recognition Americans can no longer play a role as mediators. He is expected to shun Trump’s Vice President Mike Pence when he visits Israel on January 22-23.

Palestinian officials have refused meetings with any US political officials, including members of Trump’s peace team and chief negotiator Jason Greenblatt.

Trump, in response, has threatened to cut off aid to the PA, asking why Washington should make “any of these massive future payments” when the Palestinians were “no longer willing to talk peace.”

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