Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud AbbasReuters

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday criticized what he described as the West's "double standards" that he said penalized Russia over its invasion of Ukraine while ignoring alleged Israeli "crimes" against the Palestinians.

Abbas voiced his frustration to visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a press briefing with reporters in Ramallah, AFP reported.

"The current events in Europe have shown blatant double standards," he told Blinken, adding, Despite the crimes of the Israeli occupation that amounted to ethnic cleansing and racial discrimination... we find no one who is holding Israel responsible for behaving as a state above the law."

Blinken, whose trip to the region includes a meeting with the foreign ministers of Israel and four Arab countries that have normalized relations with Israel, told Abbas he wanted to revitalize US relations with the PA.

The PA had a tense relationship with the Trump administration and had been boycotting the US since 2017, 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, since taking office, the Biden administration has renewed ties with the PA and had been crafting a plan aimed at “resetting” US ties with the PA.

In one move, the Biden administration announced it intends to resume aid to UNRWA as well as other aid to the PA which was suspended by the Trump administration.

In January, senior US and PA officials met virtually to renew the US-Palestinian Economic Dialogue for the first time in five years.

Last month, Blinken spoke to Abbas. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said after the conversation that the two “discussed the importance of strengthening the US relationship with the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people, as well as the need to improve quality of life for Palestinians in tangible ways.”

On Sunday, Blinken pledged to maintain support for the Palestinians, pointing to continuing financial aid for development and $500 million provided for humanitarian assistance in the past year.

"The United States is committed to rebuilding our relationship with the Palestinian Authority and with the Palestinian people," he told Abbas, according to AFP.