White House: Palestinians missing opportunity for peace again

“It’s unfortunate that the Palestinian Authority is walking away again from an opportunity to discuss the future of the region,” a White House official said of the PA’s boycott of Pence’s visit.  

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News

A white House official slammed the Palestinian leadership for its boycotting of Vice President Mike Pence’s upcoming visit to Israel later this month.

The Palestinians announced that they will refuse to meet Pence in Ramallah, following President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Responding to the threats, Pence’s director of communications Jarrod Agen said on Sunday that “it’s unfortunate that the Palestinian Authority is walking away again from an opportunity to discuss the future of the region.”

Despite the Palestinians’ conduct, he stated that the Trump administration “remains undeterred in its efforts to help achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians and our peace team remains hard at work putting together a plan.”

“The President has asked Vice President Pence to go to the region to reaffirm our commitment to work with partners throughout the Middle East to defeat radicalism that threatens the hopes and dreams of future generations,” Agen noted.

“The Vice President very much looks forward to traveling to the region to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu and [Egyptian] President el-Sisi,” the official stated.

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Jibril Rajoub, a senior Palestinian official, said Thursday that PA head Mahmoud Abbas would not meet Pence.

“In the name of Fatah, I say that we will not welcome [US President Donald] Trump’s deputy in the Palestinian territories,” he stated.

The BBC reported Friday that the US has warned the Palestinians against cancelling talks with Pence.

It would be “counterproductive” to scrap talks between Pence and Abbas planned later this month, the US said.