July 23, 2024
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Trump Warns Abbas: No Preconditions on Negotiations

In his meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas last month, U.S. President Donald Trump made it clear that Washington would support an initiative to normalize relations between Israel and the Persian Gulf states regardless of whether a solution to the Palestinian issue is found, if Ramallah sets preconditions for negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.

A senior Palestinian official confirmed the details of the clarification to Israel Hayom. He said Ramallah had serious concerns Trump could push for a regional peace initiative between Israel and the Gulf states before a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is reached.

According to the official, Abbas has asked Jordan’s King Abdullah and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi for their help in thwarting such an initiative if it arises before a resolution to the conflict is found.

The official emphasized that Ramallah is not overly optimistic about Trump’s upcoming visit to the Palestinian territories. He said White House officials informed the Palestinians on Sunday that Trump had decided to shorten his planned three- to four-hour visit with Palestinian Authority officials to just one hour, and that he would not visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem as originally planned. Instead, Trump will suffice with a one-on-one meeting with Abbas in the presidential compound in Bethlehem. After delivering a statement to the press, Trump will return to Jerusalem. Trump will then depart for his next destination, Vatican City, where he is scheduled to meet with Pope Francis.

The Palestinian official said Trump had set in place a new equation of sorts, according to which the Palestinians need to stop paying salaries to security prisoners, stop the incitement in the Palestinian education system and desist from naming streets and public buildings after terrorists. In return, the Americans would not move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and Israelis would limit construction within settlement blocs and impose a freeze on construction outside the blocs.

With the renewal of negotiations, Israel is also expected to authorize a series of goodwill gestures toward the Palestinians, such as releasing terrorists imprisoned prior to the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 and dozens of security prisoners identified with Fatah who do not have blood on their hands, easing travel restrictions on Palestinians in Area C and making economic gestures to Palestinians in the West Bank.

By Daniel Siryoti/Israel Hayom

 

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