Report: Abbas to Demand Biden Return Embassy to Tel Aviv 

YERUSHALAYIM -
A man walks next to a road sign pointing to the U.S. embassy in Yerushalayim. (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)

An unnamed senior official in the office of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was quoted by Yisrael Hayom on Sunday as saying that the PA will demand that President-elect Joe Biden immediately return the U.S. Embassy to Tel Aviv and cancel President Donald Trump’s recognition of Yerushalayim as Israel’s capital.

Biden has previously said that while he would be taking a more even-handed approach to the Middle East conflict than his predecessor, he will not reverse those moves.

The official said that Abbas sent Biden messages that the PA would be willing to resume U.S.-brokered peace negotiations with Israel, but only from the point where they were halted in 2016 under former President Barack Obama.

Abbas adviser Nabil Shaath said that the PA will also demand that the U.S. reopen the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington, which Trump closed, and renew American aid to the Palestinians and the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees and their descendants, UNRWA.

Abbas on Sunday congratulated President-elect Joe Biden in a statement that indicated the Palestinian leadership would drop its three-year political boycott of the White House.

“I congratulate President-elect Joe Biden on his victory as President of the United States of America for the coming period, and I congratulate his elected Vice President Kamala Harris,” Abbas said in a statement issued from his office in Ramallah.

It added: “I look forward to working with the President-elect and his administration to strengthen the Palestinian-American relations and to achieve freedom, independence, justice and dignity for our people, as well as to work for peace, stability and security for all in our region and the world.”

The Palestinians have been holding out for a change of U.S. president for three years, hoping for a chance to hit the reset button on relations with Washington.

Abbas ended all political dealings with President Donald Trump’s administration after Trump’s December 2017 decision to recognize Yerushalayim as Israel’s capital and move the U.S. Embassy there.