U.S. President Joe Biden sent a letter to Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas about escalating tensions between Israel and the Palestinians.

“President Mahmoud Abbas received today a letter from U.S. President Joe Biden,” the Palestinian WAFA news agency reported. “The letter dealt with the latest political developments, current situations and bilateral relations between the United States and the State of Palestine.”

It reportedly came as a response to one that Abbas had sent Biden congratulating him on his election win earlier this year.

The letter was delivered by George Noll, chief of the Palestinian Affairs Unit at the U.S. embassy in Israel.

The correspondence between Biden and Abbas appears to be part of the Biden administration’s efforts to restore ties with the P.A. Last month, the U.S. sent aid to the Palestinians to help with COVID-19 relief ad to UNRWA, the U.N. agency that works with Palestinian refugees. Biden has also pledged to reopen the PLO mission in Washington, D.C.

The outreach, however, comes at an uncertain time amid violence within the last month. Rioting in Jerusalem and in Arab neighbors inside of Israel, as well as hundreds of rockets being fired on the Jewish state Israel from the Gaza Strip, leaves the possibility of peace between the two sides as far apart as ever.

The United States has defended Israel’s right to self-defense and has condemned the loss of life on both sides, urging calm.

JNS

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