Is Palestinian Pres. Abbas refusing to take Jared Kushner’s Phone Calls?

Middle East Monitor | – –

Haaretz reported on Thursday 23 November, 2017, that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refused Wednesday to answer a phone call from Jared Kushner, adviser to US President Donald Trump who is responsible for mediating an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

Instead of answering Kushner’s call, Abbas forwarded it to the representative of the Palestinian Authority in Washington, according to the Lebanese TV Channel Al-Mayadeen.

This occurred amid the state of tension which resurfaced following Washington’s decision not to renew the license of the PLO office in the US capital, prompting President Abbas to announce the freezing of Palestinian contacts with the United States.

The White House demands that Palestine withdraws their request for the International Criminal Court in to investigate Israel and not resist the US peace initiative, as two preconditions for the PLO to continue its activity in the United States.

“The coming period will be decisive in terms of defining the Palestinian-American relationship,” said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Abbas while in Madrid on an official visit.

Speaking about the new American demands, Abu Rudeineh stated that “Abbas’s orders sprung from his faith in the Palestinian track.”

Senior Palestinian government official, who is well-informed of these updates, told Haaretz that Abbas’s orders to sever ties were being implemented by senior officials while communication with US officials at the lower level is still maintained.

The source clarified that “it is important for Palestinians to convey a message to the US government, and not severing ties for the sake of cutting contacts.” The source pointed out also that “in this case we should not forget the game of power between the parties, especially when it comes to a global force like the United States.”

Senior member of the Palestinian Authority stated that the White House’s threat to close the headquarters of the PLO’s delegation in Washington is an unprecedented move. The source stated that the threat had created the biggest split between the Palestinian Authority and the White House in recent years.

The source also mentioned that “during meetings with President Trump, Abbas received very reassuring messages on the one hand but the US government’s position on the talks casts doubt on the whole relationship.”

Palestinian government official stated on Wednesday evening that the White House tried to contact the Palestinian Authority to invite Abbas to a meeting in Washington in the upcoming weeks, but the Palestinian Authority president did not respond to the invitation.

The official said that Ramallah would prefer the meeting of senior American advisers and representatives of the US State Department with Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, who is currently in Washington recovering from a surgery, or with the head of Palestinian intelligence, who is the personal envoy of “Abbas,” in order to communicate with the United States and many world leaderships.

The official said also that there was no further information on the topics that Kushner wanted to discuss with Abbas, but the Palestinian president was still determined to sever ties with Washington until the dispute over the PLO delegation is resolved.

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Via Middle East Monitor


Related video added by Juan Cole:

Wochit: “Palestinian Office In Washington To Close?”

4 Responses

  1. How intelligent should you be to realize that a man like Kushner, whose family sent thousands of dollars to the illegal settlements, Netanyahu’s good buddy (in fact Bibi slept in HIS room when staying with the Kushner family), and has represented Israel in various matters, is NOT an honest broker, and chances are HIGH that he will give the Israelis the lion share, and the Palestinians the crumbs?
    Jared the novice, has no clue about achieving peace in this conflict, and is playing adult games that he knows nothing about. It is time Abbas stepped down and allowed a younger and stronger leader to handle this. It has been many years, and he is still in square one. These false promises have been going on for too long. What is the world waiting for, until the last Palestinian home has been bulldozed?

  2. The Palestinian authorities will never learn that the us doesn’t have their interest at heart.
    It is time they become brave like the poor occupied people of Palestine and tell the US on your bike.
    The apartheid state doesn’t want peace and it is funny how the west supports them and supports all the arab dictators.
    It seems it is ok to have freedom for the people in the west but not for the people of the east.

    • The recent actions of the U.S. in raising the specter of P.L.O. mission closure in the District of Columbia is directly related to current anxiety felt by the U.S. State Department and the Israeli government regarding the status of investigative proceedings pending in the International Criminal Court.

      Over this last summer, four Palestinian human rights organizations completed a 700-page investigative report chronicling alleged war crimes committed by Israel against Palestinians; that report was turned over to the ICC at its headquarters at the Hague.

      On December 4th through the 14th of this year, member states of the International Criminal Court are slated to convene at the United Nations HQ in New York to discuss the progress of pending preliminary investigations being conducted by ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda – including the State of Palestine complaint against Israeli government officials. Ms. Bensouda is expected to release a formal report prior to the conference and that report will be addressed pursuant to the agenda of that conference.

      The ICC prosecutor has been under pressure to shift her focus away from the prosecution of sub-Saharan African warlords – as such prior proceedings have dominated the docket of that international tribunal. This is a factor that some experts opine may lead to eventual initiation of formal charges against high Israeli officials for war crimes. A second factor is that neither Israel nor the U.S. has very much influence in the operation of the ICC – being non-members – and the tribunal is largely funded by neutral states (such as Japan, who supplies 22% of the annual ICC budget).

      A countervailing opinion is that the initiation of war crimes charges against Israel by the ICC would be risky; it would be vigorously fought by the Israeli government – who has already retained top experts in international law to address the preliminary investigation thus far – and Palestinian interests could continue to suffer as a result of further economic backlash from both the U.S. and Israel.

      The uncertainty relative to potential ICC actions taken by Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has led the U.S. to announce the mission closure. However some observers have felt that Palestine’s accession to the ICC as a member state – via a ceremony at ICC headquarters at the Hague – is something to be applauded as a watershed event in which Palestinians rely on the rule of law to oppose Israel – rather than terror attacks or the good graces of the U.S. State Department or Israeli administration of PM Netanyahu.

  3. Marianna: Good points. Seems to me that what the world is waiting for is Trump and his family circus of deranged clowns to be gone.

    Go Mueller!

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