Palestinian radical factions on Thursday called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to cancel his meeting with US President Joe Biden on Friday in protest of Washington’s “bias” in favor of Israel.
The call on Thursday came in response to the Jerusalem US-Israel Strategic Partnership Declaration, which was signed on Thursday between Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Biden.
The meeting between Abbas and Biden is scheduled to take place in Bethlehem on Friday.
A senior Palestinian official in Ramallah expressed outrage over the signing of the Israeli-US declaration, but said Friday’s meeting would not be canceled.
“What’s left to talk about with the Palestinians after such a declaration?” the official asked. “This declaration proves that the Palestinian issue is not at the top of the Biden administration’s list of priorities. It also shows that the US administration is more interested in strengthening Israel’s security and promoting normalization with the Arab countries at the expense of the Palestinians.”
“This declaration proves that the Palestinian issue is not at the top of the Biden administration’s list of priorities. It also shows that the US administration is more interested in strengthening Israel’s security and promoting normalization with the Arab countries at the expense of the Palestinians.”Senior Palestinian official in Ramallah
The declaration affirms the “unbreakable bonds” between the two countries and the enduring commitment of the US to Israel’s security, especially the maintenance of its qualitative military edge.
In addition, Israel and the US condemned the series of terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens in recent months, and affirmed the need to confront radical groups, such as Hamas, seeking to inflame tension and instigate violence and terrorism.
According to the declaration, “President Biden affirms his longstanding and consistent support for a two-state solution and for advancing toward a reality in which Israelis and Palestinians alike can enjoy equal measures of security, freedom and prosperity.”
The Ramallah official said Abbas will demand during the meeting that the Biden administration fulfill all its promises to the Palestinians, including reopening the US Consulate in Jerusalem, removing the PLO from the US terrorism list, and pressuring Israel to halt settlement construction.
Abbas will also ask the Biden administration to work toward reviving the stalled peace process with Israel, he said.It was still unclear whether Biden would announce that Palestinian cellular companies would be able to access 4G networks by the end of next year, the official said.
Abbas will also ask the Biden administration to work towards reviving the stalled peace process with Israel, he said.
Approximately 1,500 Palestinian police will participate in securing Biden’s visit to Bethlehem, according to PA Police spokesman Luay Izreikat, and that the Church of the Nativity will be closed to foreign tourists.
Ahead of the visit, Palestinians placed photos of slain Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh in Manger Square and other parts of Bethlehem. Palestinian activists said they would hold a protest in the city against Biden’s visit.
*نقابة الصحفيين الفلسطينيين وبلدية بيت لحم تعلقان صور كبيرة للشهيدة الصحفية شيرين أبو عاقلة مقابل كنيسة المهد بمدينة بيت لحم قبيل زيارة الرئيس الاميركي جو بايدن للكنيسة* pic.twitter.com/4qpuG2Mjkg— زاهر صباح (@KoYs9FtDjk14yu9) July 14, 2022
“After all this American-Israeli disregard for the Palestinian people, President Abbas’s meeting with Biden must be canceled,” said Mustafa Barghouti, secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative movement.
Bassam al-Salhi, a member of the PLO Executive Committee and head of the Palestinian People’s Party, formerly the Palestinian Communist Party, also urged Abbas to call off the planned meeting with Biden to protest the US-Israeli declaration.
“The US constitutes an obstacle to the liberation of the Palestinian people,” he said.
On the eve of the Abbas-Biden meeting, hundreds of Palestinians held protests against the Biden visit in Nablus, Ramallah and the Gaza Strip.
في تصريح صحفي.. القيادي بحركة حــمــاس، خليل الحــــية: "بايدن يحمل رزمة من الوعود الكاذبة للفلسطينيين، وعلى السلطة الفلسطينية ترك الرهان على الوعود الأمريكية الكاذبة ومغادرة مربع أوسلو، ونؤكد أن محاولات دمج الاحتلال في المنطقة ستبوء بالفشل".#فلسطين_ترفض_بايدن pic.twitter.com/ebgymyy2DY— شبكة قدس الإخبارية (@qudsn) July 14, 2022
“We say to the American president: you are not welcome in Palestine,” senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya said during a protest in the Gaza Strip. “Your visit confirmed that Washington is a direct partner in the Israeli crimes against our people.”
Referring to the joint declaration’s pledge to deepen ties between Israel and all of its regional partners, advance Israel’s regional integration and expand the circle of peace to include more Arab and Muslim states, he said US attempts to separate the Palestinians from the Arabs won’t succeed.
“Any alliances that include the Zionist entity will pose a threat to the Palestinian cause,” he added.
Hayya called on the Palestinian leadership to abandon the Oslo Accords with Israel and stop relying on the US.Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who is based in Qatar, said the US administration’s attempts to “reshape the region on the basis of integrating the occupation entity into it and providing security for it through alliances with some Arab governments will fail because it contradicts the will of the [Arabs and Muslims].”
The Palestinians, he said in a statement, “will not fall again into the trap of the mirage of negotiations” with Israel. “Our choice is to continue the comprehensive resistance until the occupier is defeated and the people return to their homeland and Jerusalem.”
Hamas spokesman Abdel Latif Qanou denounced the Jerusalem declaration as a “blatant confirmation of the American administration’s hostility against the Palestinian people and bias in favor of the Zionist entity.” The declaration will “encourage the occupation to continue its aggression against our people and threaten our national security.”
Palestinian Islamic Jihad official Mohammed al-Hindi said his group rejects efforts to create an Israeli-Arab security alliance against Iran.
“The main objective of US President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel is normalization with Saudi Arabia,” he said. “The rest of the meetings are insignificant.”
Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
The PLO’s Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) described the signing by Biden and Lapid of the Jerusalem declaration as “an open invitation to ignite regional wars in the region and strengthen Israel’s aggressive role at the expense of the interests of the peoples of the region.”
The DFLP called on the Arabs to assume their political and national responsibilities to abort the joint declaration.
The Popular Resistance Committees, an alliance of several terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip, urged all Arabs to reject Biden’s visit and its “malicious goals.”
The group said “the establishment of a Middle Eastern NATO is a threat to the Arab national security and the entire region and i legitimizes the [Israeli] occupation and aggression.”