Reuters said, Thursday, March 18, 2021, that the administration of US President Joe Biden is devising a plan aimed at restoring US relations with the Palestinians, after former President Donald Trump nearly destroyed them with his total bias towards Israel.
According to a draft of an internal State Department memo revealed by two insiders, the new US administration is preparing a document that is still in an early “working stage”, but it may form the basis for a reversal of parts of Trump’s approach that the Palestinians have denounced as being strongly biased toward Israel.
Since Biden took office on January 20, 2021, his aides have said that they intend to repair relations with the Palestinians, while the administration has pledged to resume hundreds of millions of dollars in economic and humanitarian aid, and work to reopen the diplomatic mission of the Palestinians in Washington.
Biden aides also made clear that they want to re-establish the goal of a negotiated two-state solution as a priority in US policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, they are moving cautiously with the approaching Israeli elections, on March 23, followed by Palestinian elections due in the coming months.
Biden and the Palestinian Authority
Part of the draft memorandum, which was carried by the National newspaper, said that the American vision is to “enhance freedom, security and prosperity for both Israelis and Palestinians in the short term.”
The document was quoted as saying that aid worth 15 million dollars could be announced to the Palestinians by the end of March to tackle Covid-19 disease.
It is also reported that the document takes a tougher stance on Israeli settlement activities and mentions efforts to “obtain a Palestinian commitment to end payments to individuals imprisoned by (Israel) for acts of terrorism.”
One of the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the document was a preliminary draft subject to review and any final version would require an interagency review.
US State Department spokeswoman Galina Porter told reporters in a daily briefing: “We do not have any comments on that specific note.”
The suffering of Palestine during the Trump era
The Palestinians have made no secret of their relief at the loss of the president Donald Trump In the election race towards the White House.
On December 6, 2017, Trump officially announced his administration’s recognition of occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and in May 2018, he moved the Washington embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and in return, the Palestinian Authority announced cutting off its contacts with the Trump administration, and the rupture continued until Today.
On the level of economic restrictions, Washington began on January 16, 2018, to reduce its aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), then on August 3, 2018, it decided to cut all aid, and since that time, UNRWA has been suffering from a financial crisis. Stifling, affected the provision of its aid to the Palestinians.
On August 2, 2018, the Palestinian Authority announced that the US administration had stopped all aid to the Palestinians, including direct aid to the treasury and indirect, and later on September 10, 2018, the US administration closed the PLO office in Washington and its bank accounts, and days later it expelled the Palestinian ambassador. She has Hussam Zomlot and his family.
In January 2020, Trump announced the “Deal of the Century” plan to liquidate the Palestinian issue, which includes a major prejudice to Palestinian national rights, and calls for the establishment of self-rule, under the name of a “state”, over residential areas that are not geographically connected, and which sever Israeli settlements.
On October 29, 2020, Washington allowed Americans born in Jerusalem to register Israel as a place of birth, a move that the Palestinians see as a confirmation of the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as the alleged capital of the occupying state.
The US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, previously announced Washington’s desire to change the current Palestinian leadership, before retracting his statements, and Trump also supported Arab and Islamic normalization with Israel, before resolving the Palestinian issue and ending the Israeli occupation.
While the Palestinians condemned the recent normalization agreements, and considered them an attempt to destroy the Arab and Islamic incubator for them, and an attempt to pressure them to accept forfeiting their national rights.