Report: Abbas to temporarily shelve demand of Israeli construction freeze


( Amid the Trump administration’s Mideast peace push, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas will temporarily shelve his longtime demand that Israel freeze construction in Judea and Samaria as a precondition for reviving negotiations with Israel, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (left) and President Donald Trump at the White House May 3. Credit: White House via YouTube.

Abbas has also purportedly expressed willingness to tone down his campaigns to prosecute Israel for alleged war crimes and to pursue anti-Israel initiatives at the United Nations, said Mohammad Mustafa, Abbas’s senior economic adviser and former deputy prime minister.

“We have not made the settlements an up-front issue this time,” Mustafa said. “We think it’s better for all of us right now to focus on giving this new administration a chance to deliver.”

An additional prominent aide to Abbas, Mohammad Shtayyeh, said President Donald Trump earned the Palestinians’ trust with his June 1 postponement of relocating the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“There is a new dynamic. The embassy issue is behind us,” Shtayyeh said, adding, “With this administration, the White House is engaged and that’s a huge difference…That doesn’t mean I’m optimistic. Don’t misunderstand.”

Posted on June 8, 2017 .