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PA wants Biden to reverse ‘anti-Palestinian’ decisions

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The Palestinians will demand that the new administration under US President-elect Joe Biden cancel “anti-Palestinian” decisions taken by the administration of President Donald Trump, Palestinian officials said on Sunday.

The officials told The Jerusalem Post that the Palestinian Authority has prepared a list of demands that will be presented to Biden after he is sworn in on January 20.

The list includes a request to reopen the PLO diplomatic mission in Washington, rescinding Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, resuming financial aid to the PA and the UN Relief and Work Agency and reopening the US consulate in east Jerusalem.

In addition, the officials said, the Palestinians will also demand the Biden administration cancel the recent decision that allows US citizens born in Jerusalem to list Israel as their place of birth, as well as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement allowing for settlement products to be labeled as “Made in Israel.”

“We have already contacted Biden’s people to inform them of our demands,” a Palestinian official told the Post. “We had a positive dialogue with senior officials who are close to Biden.”

Last week, PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki said the Palestinians want to conduct dialogue with the new US administration in order to cancel decisions taken by the Trump administration.

Malki said the Palestinians have suffered tremendously as a result of Trump’s decisions directed against them, including the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the closure of the PLO mission in the US and the suspension of US financial aid to the Palestinians.

Malki and other Palestinian officials said they also expected the Biden administration to distance itself from Trump’s plan for Middle East peace, also known as the “Deal of the Century.” The Palestinian leadership has strongly condemned the plan, unveiled in January 2020, as a “conspiracy aiming to liquidate the Palestinian issue and national rights.”

Another Palestinian official told the Post that while he was optimistic the Biden administration would cancel some of the decisions taken by the Trump administration, the Palestinians do not believe it would be easy to return the US Embassy to Tel Aviv.

“We know that the Biden administration would not be able to accept all our demands, such as the removal of the embassy from Jerusalem, but we are very optimistic regarding the other demands,” the official explained. “If [Biden] renounces the ‘Deal of the Century’ and resumes financial aid to the Palestinians, this will be a good step in the right direction. It will be a big victory for the Palestinian people.”

According to the official, the Palestinians are also expecting the Biden administration to return to the long-standing US policy toward settlements and adhere to UN resolutions on this issue.

In November 2019, Pompeo announced that the US no longer views settlements as “inconsistent with international law,” a move that drew strong condemnation from the Palestinian leadership.

“We have received assurances that the new US administration would adhere to UN Security Council Resolution 2334,” the official said.

The resolution, adopted in 2016, states that settlement activity constitutes a “flagrant violation” of international law and has “no legal validity” and demands that Israel fulfill its obligations as an occupying power under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The Palestinian officials told the Post that the recent decision to restore relations with Israel, including security coordination, and return the Palestinian ambassadors to Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates were aimed at paving the way for conducting a “positive and constructive dialogue” with the Biden administration. The move, they added, is also aimed at improving Palestinian relations with some of the Arab countries, especially the Gulf states.

The PA, which has been boycotting the Trump administration since December 2017, will resume its contacts with Washington after Biden assumes office, the officials said.

As part of the PA’s effort to ingratiate itself to the Biden administration, Palestinian officials in Ramallah have in the past week hinted they are prepared to review their policy of paying monthly stipends to the families of Palestinian prisoners and those killed or injured during attacks against Israelis.

Moreover, the Palestinians have also hinted that they are prepared to suspend their campaign to join various UN bodies and international conventions and end anti-Israel incitement in schools and PA-controlled media.



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