The Biden administration is crafting a plan aimed at “resetting” US ties with the Palestinian Authority, according to an internal draft memo quoted by Reuters on Wednesday.
Two people familiar with the State Department document, which was first reported by the United Arab Emirates-based newspaper The National, said it was still in an early “working stage” but could eventually form the basis for rolling back parts of Trump’s approach that Palestinian Arabs denounced as heavily biased in favor of Israel.
A portion of the draft memo said the US vision is “to advance freedom, security, and prosperity for both Israelis and Palestinians in the immediate term.”
The document was cited as saying $15 million in COVID-19 pandemic aid to the Palestinians could be announced by the end of March. It is also reported to take a tougher stance on Israeli settlement activities and mentions efforts “to obtain a Palestinian commitment to end payments to individuals imprisoned (by Israel) for acts of terrorism.”
One source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the document was a preliminary draft subject to revision and any final version would require inter-agency review.
“We don’t have any comments on that specific memo,” US State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter told reporters at a daily briefing on Wednesday.
Since taking office, the Biden administration has renewed ties with the PA that have been frozen since 2017.
The PA had been boycotting the US in protest of Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the relocation of the US embassy in Israel to the city.
However, the Biden administration is planning to roll back many of Trump’s policies related to Israel and the PA, including 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.