The Biden administration is beginning to renew ties with the Palestinian Authority that have been frozen since 2017, Barak Ravid of Axios reported on Monday.
According to Ravid, the State Department's deputy assistant secretary for Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Hady Amr, spoke by phone with multiple PA officials on Monday, in the first publicly announced interactions between the sides.
“We discussed bilateral relations, the latest current developments and politics. It was a positive conversation. It was agreed to continue communication," the PA “minister for civilian affairs”, Hussein al-Sheikh, tweeted after speaking with Amr.
Amr, noted Ravid, will be one of the key players shaping the administration's policies on Israel-PA issues. He is highly respected by PA officials, who see him as a balanced actor.
The PA had been boycotting the US since 2017, when then-President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announced that the US embassy will be relocated there.
The PA demands that eastern Jerusalem be the capital of a future Palestinian state.
The Biden administration is planning to roll back many of Trump’s policies related to Israel and the PA, noted Ravid in his report.
These include a resumption of aid to the PA and the reopening of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington, as well as the consulate in Jerusalem.
The Biden administration will also oppose an application of Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, building of new Israeli homes in Judea and Samaria and the demolition of Palestinian Arab homes by Israel, the report added.