US President Joe Biden’s recent visit to the region was a “big zero” and did not achieve anything for the Palestinians, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is reported to have told his confidants in Ramallah.
Palestinian sources quoted Abbas as saying that he was “surprised” that he was unable to obtain from Biden a single sentence that could be presented as progress in the political process with Israel, according to the Lebanese Hezbollah-affiliated newspaper Al-Akhbar.
After Abbas and Biden met in Bethlehem on July 15, Biden assured the PA president that his commitment to the two-state solution had not changed.
“Two states along the 1967 lines, where mutually agreed-to swaps, remain the best way to achieve equal measures of security, prosperity, freedom, and democracy for the Palestinians as well as Israelis,” Biden said.
“Two states along the 1967 lines, where mutually agreed-to swaps, remain the best way to achieve equal measures of security, prosperity, freedom, and democracy for the Palestinians as well as Israelis.”US President Joe Biden
According to the sources, Abbas told Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah that he was unhappy with the results of his meeting with Biden.
Sisi and Abdullah tried to calm him down by noting that major regional issues imposed themselves on the US president’s agenda after the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, the sources said. The two Arab leaders also told Abbas that Biden would not activate the political process as long as the Israelis did not want it, the sources added.
Abbas’s reported dissatisfaction with the Biden administration’s policy came as senior Palestinian officials stepped up their attacks on Israel.
“It has become clear that the other side [Israel] understands only the language of resistance,” Mahmoud al-Aloul, deputy chairman of the ruling Fatah faction, was quoted as saying.
He and other officials had expressed disappointment over the Abbas-Biden talks, arguing that the US president did not address “core and sensitive issues.”
Abbas calls for pressure
On Monday, PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called on the international community to put pressure on Israel to stop its military incursions into Palestinian cities, towns and refugee camps in the West Bank.
Shtayyeh’s call came in response to Sunday’s killing of two Palestinian gunmen by the IDF in the Old City of Nablus.
In opening remarks during the weekly meeting of the PA cabinet in Ramallah, Shtayyeh held Israel fully responsible for the “restrictions” at the Allenby Bridge crossing with Jordan. He was referring to the severe overcrowding at the Jordanian side of the bridge in recent weeks. Israel has agreed to open the bridge for 24 hours a day beginning in September.
The PA is working with Jordan to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian passengers, he said.
The Palestinian premier demanded that Israel reopen the Jerusalem Airport, also known as Kalandiya Airport, north of the city. The airport was closed at the beginning of the Second Intifada after numerous attacks by the Palestinians.
Also on Monday, the PA Foreign Affairs Ministry accused Israel of “deliberately sabotaging” the two-state solution
The ministry also accused Israel of waging war on the Palestinians through its “violations and crimes,” as well as continued construction in the West Bank settlements.
“Our people are victims of an official Israeli war against the Palestinian presence in the homeland, affecting all aspects and levels of Palestinian life, and the goal is to complete the annexation of the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and its complete separation from the Gaza Strip,” read a statement issued by the ministry.
It warned that Israel’s actions would lead to an “explosion” in the region.
The PA ministry also warned that Israel’s actions threatened the chances of achieving peace and urged the international community to take the necessary measures to protect the two-state solution and implement the relevant United Nations resolutions before it is too late.