Palestinians disappointed with US policy ahead of Biden's visit

Ramallah, July 13 (IANS) Ahead of US President Joe Biden's first visit to the Middle East, the Palestinians are disappointed with the US' failure to present any new peace initiative and fulfill its promises on the Palestinian cause.
 
Palestinians disappointed with US policy ahead of Biden's visit

Ramallah, July 13 (IANS) Ahead of US President Joe Biden's first visit to the Middle East, the Palestinians are disappointed with the US' failure to present any new peace initiative and fulfill its promises on the Palestinian cause.

Biden is scheduled to visit Israel, Palestine and Saudi Arabia during his first trip to the region which starts on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reported.

In the past weeks, the Palestinians ramped up their voices calling on the Biden administration to deliver its promises by reopening the US consulate in East Jerusalem and the office of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) in Washington, and removing the PLO from the US terrorism list.

Meanwhile, the Palestinians criticized the US for its silence over the escalation of Israeli unilateral practices in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Ramzi Rabah, a PLO executive committee member, said that within the PLO executive committee, there is widespread criticism of the US policy as its members urged the Palestinian Authority "not to bet on any actual US role in the region".

The Palestinian leadership "must go to alternative options in dealing with Washington," Rabah told Xinhua in an interview.

He said that as the US refuses to take any serious steps to stop Israel from escalating its practices against the Palestinians, "there is a need to go to the UN and the UN Security Council to create an international political initiative."

"I think that the essence of Biden's visit to the region is to arrange a regional alliance, to secure the American interests and confront Iran," Rabah noted, expressing the Palestinians' disappointment at the US inaction to break the protracted stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Wassel Abu Yousef, another member of the PLO executive committee, ruled out major positive results from Biden's visit on advancing the Palestinian cause, citing that the US has increased support for Israel and its practices against the Palestinians, including confiscating land, demolishing homes and expanding settlements.

The Palestinians "do not expect anything new from Biden's visit to the region regarding the implementation of the US promises, except that it will result in more support for Israel," he told Xinhua in an interview.

Frustration and despair are prevailing among the Palestinians as nearly 29 years have passed since the Palestinians signed the Oslo peace agreement with Israel, under the US sponsorship, to end the conflict between them.

The Israeli-Palestinian peace process has been deadlocked since 2014 mainly due to Washington's refusal to change its biased pro-Israeli policy that ignores the political rights of the Palestinian people, who hope to establish an independent state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Abdulmajid Sweilem, a Palestinian analyst from the West Bank city of Ramallah, said that Biden's visit to the Palestinian territories is just "a political courtesy".

Biden is expected to "repeat Washington's old slogans of adhering to the two-state solution and protecting the Palestinian people's right to dignity and security, among other cliches," he told Xinhua in an interview.

"Ultimately, these cliches mean improving the lives of the Palestinians under the framework of Israeli domination and limited Palestinian self-rule," Sweilem added.

--IAns

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