Palestinians bickering with US over Jerusalem and other issues

As a key Biden-Abbas meeting approaches, U.S. and Palestinian officials still unable to agree on wording of possible joint statement.

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

As a key meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas approaches, American and Palestinian officials are still unable to agree on the wording of a possible joint statement in regard to Jerusalem’s status, Israel’s Channel 12 reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, the joint statement would reiterate support for a two-state solution. However, while the U.S wants to call for a Palestinian capital “in” Jerusalem, the Palestinians insist that the capital “be” Jerusalem.

Despite Ramallah’s dissatisfaction with Biden, Abbas has instructed Palestinian officials not to criticize the U.S. President, Channel 12 added.

However, a protest against Biden in Ramallah will be allowed to proceed on Thursday.

Further frustrating the Palestinians, Israel rebuffed requests from U.S. officials to set up a “joint panel” of Israelis, Palestinians, Jordanians and Americans to discuss “the status quo in Jerusalem” and a joint Israeli-Palestinian condemning violence

According to Channel 12, the Jerusalem status quo issue is believed to refer to Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount. Israel’s opposition to a joint statement condemning violence stems from concerns it would imply equal responsibility.

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Meanwhile, Palestinian officials told Israel HaYom they are still pressing Biden to reopen the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem, remove the Palestine Liberation Organization from a U.S. terror blacklist, and reinstate PLO offices in Washington that were shuttered during the administration of President Donald Trump.

“When we raised the issue, the Americans told us, ‘You know we are committed to opening the consulate and the president supports it,'” one Palestinian official told Israel Hayom.

“The thing is, the Palestinians want it to be clearly worded [in the statement], with a formal commitment and an actual timetable. There are still some disagreements, and we hope to convince them but so far there is no agreement.”