U.S.-PA tensions?
PA intelligence delegation visits Washington

Abbas tells Israeli MKs that a PA delegation of security and intelligence officials is in Washington, D.C. for talks with CIA.

Elad Benari,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas told Israeli Knesset members during a meeting in his office in Ramallah Sunday that a PA delegation of security and intelligence officials is in Washington, D.C. for talks with the CIA, Axios reported.

The visit is taking place despite ongoing tensions between the PA and the Trump administration over President Donald Trump’s stance on Jerusalem.

The PA decided to boycott the Trump administration after Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocated the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Since then, PA officials have refused to engage with American officials and have repeatedly rejected the Trump administration’s peace proposal, claiming it was coordinated with Israel.

The connection between the CIA and the PA’s General Intelligence service is one of the few functioning channels of communication between the Trump administration and the PA, noted Axios.

Despite cutting aid to the PA alongside its decision to stop funding the UN’s agency for “Palestinian refugees”, UNRWA, the Trump administration has decided to maintain the funding it gives to the PA security services, the report added. Indeed, a report last month indicated that the State Department had transferred dozens of millions of dollars to the PA’s preventive security forces, in an effort to enable the PA security apparatuses to act in the most effective way to prevent terrorism in Judea and Samaria.

Two people who attended the meeting told the news website that Abbas said he wants to maintain security coordination and intelligence sharing with the U.S. even though he has cut all ties with the White House. According to the report, the official heading the Palestinian delegation is General Majed Faraj, who was also in Washington for medical treatments.

Sunday’s report is not the first about a meeting between American and PA officials. In May, Haaretz reported that Faraj had met a month earlier with Mike Pompeo, then the head of the CIA and currently the U.S. Secretary of State.