Report: PA Seeking Reset with U.S.

YERUSHALAYIM -
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed, File)

The Palestinian Authority is angling for a reset of relations with the U.S. predicated on a removal of the PA from Washington’s list of terror groups, The Times of Israel reported on Thursday.

The Palestinians are hoping that the Biden administration will agree to support a repeal of congressional legislation from 1987 that labeled the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) “and its affiliates” a terror group, senior Palestinian officials told the Times.

PA officials were quoted as saying that a plan to modify its method of payouts to Palestinian security prisoners and the families of terrorists could make possible a change in Washington.

The altered policy would base the stipends on prisoners’ financial need rather than the length of their sentence, which critics have long pointed to as evidence that the money is a reward for terrorism, otherwise branded “pay for slay.”

Yossi Kupferwasser, former research division head in the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate, expressed skepticism. It would be “a step forward… if it means that the welfare allocations will be similar to those of needy families, which are less than a tenth of what the terrorists earn. If not, this is a trick,” he said.

The Biden transition team and the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office declined a request to comment on this story.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas severed relations with the Trump administration after President Donald Trump recognized Yerushalayim as Israel’s capital in December 2017 and moved its embassy there in May 2018. Abbas also rejected the Trump peace plan.

Meanwhile, on Thursday Palestinian Fatah activists marked marking 56 years since the movement’s 1964 founding with a torchlight ceremony honoring arch-terrorist Fatah founder Yasser Arafat at his tomb in Ramallah.