PA officials: Abbas is a 'peace partner'

PA officials claim that Abbas's conversation with Trump refutes Israel's claim that Abbas isn't a partner for peace.

Elad Benari ,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Authority (PA) officials claimed on Saturday night that PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas's conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday refutes Israel's claim that Abbas isn't a partner for peace.

During Friday’s conversation, the first between Trump and Abbas since Trump took office, the President invited the PA leader to the White House. According to a senior PA official who spoke to Haaretz, Trump had told Abbas that he knows he is committed to peace and is aware of the international community's respect for him.

A source close to Abbas told the newspaper on Saturday that the two didn't discuss the details pertaining to a future peace deal.

"It was a preliminary conversation meant to break the ice," the source said, adding, "Trump didn't talk about one state or two states or a specific arrangement, nor about the embassy issue. These details will come up in talks with the professional teams and perhaps in a meeting between the two at the White House.”

"What's important,” continued the source, “is that this conversation was the White House's initiative, and for us that's a pretty clear message that President Abbas is a partner and that the Palestinian issue is at the top of the Palestinian president's agenda."

Abbas's spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh also said Saturday that the talk, as well as Abbas’s meeting with CIA director Mike Pompeo last month, decimated the Israeli claim that Abbas isn't a partner for peace.

Rudeineh claimed, according to Haaretz, that the establishment of a Palestinian state would lead to regional stability and that an Arab summit slated to take place in Jordan next month will pose an opportunity to strengthen this position.

Despite PA officials’ claims that Abbas is a “peace partner”, the PA chairman has repeatedly refused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s invitations for direct negotiations, and has instead chosen to impose preconditions on such talks.

In addition, Abbas regularly meets with terrorists who murdered and wounded Israelis and their relatives.

The PA’s official television channels and social media pages openly call for terrorism against Israelis.