Palestinians expect 'more US bias towards Israel' ahead of Biden's visit, says PLO official

Palestinians expect 'more US bias towards Israel' ahead of Biden's visit, says PLO official
3 min read
West Bank
05 July, 2022
The PLO executive committee member said that the committee's meeting and distribution of positions, ten days ago, were not related to US President Biden's visit.
The PLO's Central Council had met in February amidst internal divisions. [Getty]

Palestinian officials expect "no positive results" from Joe Biden's upcoming visit to the country, a Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) official told The New Arab on Tuesday.
 
"We don't believe that Biden's visit will bring any change in US policy," said Wasel Abu Yousef, a member of the PLO's executive committee. "We expect the visit to bring even more bias towards Israel."
 
The PLO's executive committee, the highest Palestinian executive body, had previously met ten days ago to reassign the roles of its members.
 
The most significant decision was the appointment of the civil affairs minister, Hussein Al-Sheikh, viewed by some as the most probable successor to Abbas, as head of the negotiations department.

In addition, the committee Al-Sheikh's position as the committee's secretary, which Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had appointed him to, back in May.
 
"The meeting had nothing to do with Biden's visit," said Abu Yousef. "The distribution of missions in the committee was largely the same as before."
 
"Our position in the executive committee remains unified as far as the US policy is concerned," noted Abu Yousef.

"If the US policy continues its bias towards Israel, and if the latter continues its crimes against our people and building settlements on our land, we will have to move on to the implementation of the PLO Central Council’s resolutions," he added.
 
The PLO's Central Council is a smaller version of the Palestinian National Council, the highest representative body of the Palestinian people. Earlier in February, the council met in Ramallah amidst criticism of the way the meeting was organised, and after a long debate among opposition forces over whether to attend.

 
The Council's resolutions reaffirmed the council's 2018 decisions, namely to suspend Palestine's recognition of the state of Israel and to end all Palestine’s obligations under the accords signed with Israel.
 
Abu Yousef's declarations arrive after the US announced it could not determine whether Israeli forces fired the bullet that killed Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, back in May. Palestinian foreign ministry rejected the US findings in an official statement.
 
The Palestinian Authority had handed over, on  Saturday, the bullet that killed the veteran journalist to the US, in what was considered by some Palestinian commentators as a Palestinian gesture in hopes of a positive outcome of the US president's visit.

On Sunday, a Palestinian official told the Israeli press that the Palestinian leadership will demand from Biden to "restore a political horizon" between Israelis and Palestinians, as well as to reopen the US consulate in Jerusalem and remove the PLO from the US's 'terrorism' list.
 
On Monday, 29 Democrat congress members issued a call to Biden to pressure Israel during his visit, over its settlements in the E-1 area east of Jerusalem.
 

The settlement project would definitely cut the West Bank in half and end geographical continuity for a potential Palestinian state.