Palestinian Authority already talking to Biden camp: report

Palestinians hoping that a Biden victory will lead to undoing some Trump achievements and get U.S. taxpayer funding turned back on.

By World Israel News Staff

High-ranking Palestinian sources say that the Palestinian Authority has opened early communication channels with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, the Palestinian Alsiasi news website reported Monday.

The contacts are being conducted between Biden advisers and Palestinian businessmen who are members of the Arab and Palestinian communities in the United States.

The sources said that during their conversation with the Democratic presidential candidate, Biden promised to reverse some of President Donald Trump’s decisions, which included closing the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington in 2018, merging the U.S. consulate in eastern Jerusalem with the American embassy in Jerusalem, and cutting financial aid to the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

“Having dialogue with the Democratic candidate is important to the [Palestinian Authority] leadership,” one of the officials told The Media Line. “We want to let Mr. Biden know that we are willing and ready to talk.”

According to the Alsiasi report, sources said that if Trump wins the election, the PA will “cancel the estrangement” with him and seek to negotiate with the U.S. administration through the mediation of Arab countries such as Jordan and Qatar, but without accepting Trump’s “deal of the century” peace plan.

“The PA believes that Democratic candidate Joe Biden will win the election and become the next president, but it is also preparing for the possibility that President Trump will win another term,” said Yoni Ben Menachem, one of the resident Arab Affairs experts at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Ben Menachem said Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is working to convene an international peace conference early next year in the hope that the U.S. election results will help him realize his plan to bypass the current American efforts.

“Mahmoud Abbas is doing the right thing for him. He is preparing the background for finding a replacement for Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ program,” said Ben Menachem.

The Palestinians rejected the Trump proposal and refused to engage with the Americans. However, the Trump administration pushed ahead without the PA and managed to broker two peace treaties that Israel recently reached with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

The Palestinians called those agreements a “stab in the back” by their fellow Arabs, who abandoned the framework of the moribund Arab Peace Initiative that had promised Arab recognition of Israel only after an Israeli-Palestinian deal was finalized.