In advance of U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel, the Palestinian Authority leadership, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, made its demands clear—namely, the fulfillment of commitments they claim Biden made to them during his election campaign and his presidency.

According to a report by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), to demonstrate his seriousness, Abbas noted that the P.A. has taken and implemented decisions against Israel and the United States in the past. “When [then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu decided to install magnetometers at the entrances to Al-Aqsa [mosque], we suspended the security coordination,” he said.

Some of the Palestinian demands include the removal of the Palestine Liberation Organization from the U.S. Congress list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations; the reopening of the PLO mission in Washington, which the previous administration shut down; the reopening of the U.S. consulate in eastern Jerusalem, which served as the U.S. representation to the P.A. until it was closed by the Trump administration; recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital; and the renewal of U.S. financial aid to the P.A.

Reports from the last month in the Palestinian and Arab media indicate that Abbas and other leaders are angry and frustrated following meetings held with American officials ahead of Biden’s trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia, with a stopover to meet with Abbas. They say these contacts led them to believe that the Biden administration did not intend to meet their demands or even emphasize the Palestinian issue.

Articles in the Palestinian press have likewise called on lowering expectations. For example, Bassem Barhoum wrote in his column in the P.A. daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida that “the Palestinians have no illusions about and no high hopes for this visit.”


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