This time it was the Palestinians’ turn to be “erased” from the Middle East, a fate Israel has often suffered over the years.
The matter came up during a press appearance in France on Monday when U.S. President Donald Trump was queried about the disappearance of the Palestinian Authority from the State Department’s website, and whether it was “conducive” to peace efforts.
President Trump brushed off the question, telling reporters, “You can ask [Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo.”
The change was initially spotted on Friday by Middle East analyst Aaron Magid, who tweeted a screenshot of the updated page, which led to extensive coverage in Palestinian media, The Times of Israel said.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesman, denounced the move as “consistent with the extreme Israeli right’s ideas and an unprecedented decline in American foreign policy,” according to the PA news site Wafa.
Rudeineh characterized it as the latest in “a series of hopeless [American] attempts to erase the Palestinian issue and the people.”
The removal from the State Dept. listing of Mideast countries and territories in the meantime remains a mystery. Officials denied any change in policy.