Jerusalem24 – Over the weekend, US President Joe Biden visited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem. During the visit, Biden reiterated US support for the creation of a Palestinian state.
However, he also stated that the situation was “not right at this moment” to return to peace talks.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the opportunity for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict is slipping away.
The Americans have been attempting to reestablish relations with the Palestinians which were broken by former US President Donald J. Trump. During the trip, Biden announced several economic aid packages, facilitation of some travel for Palestinians, and the rollout of 4G internet service.
These moves, which were seen as placating the Palestinians in absence of any real progress, were criticized by Palestinians on social media and in the press.
Salem Barahmeh, Executive Director of Rabet By PIPD, a digital platform for The Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy, took to Twitter to say:
Apartheid Economy Plus: we get more leg room but we have to give up liberation. https://t.co/3dHcsYnDnM
— Salem Barahmeh (@Barahmeh) July 15, 2022
Biden also visited the Augusta Victoria Hospital on the Mount of Olives, in occupied East Jerusalem, refusing an Israeli escort in what Israelis saw as a breach of their declared sovereignty over the city – a move that is unprecedented for any sitting US president.
Palestinian writer and political analyst, Hani Al-Masri, stated in an interview with Jerusalem24’s sister station 24FM that the visit did not achieve all American goals, especially when it comes to the normalization of relations between Israel and Arab states, as well as American hopes of lowering fuel prices.
Israeli newspaper Maariv reported that former Israeli Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin said that Israel didn’t achieve its desired goals either. He added that Saudi Arabia was the biggest winner of this visit.