A Relationship in Trouble

The relationship between the USA and the Palestinian Authority (PA) is in serious difficulties, throwing Donald Trump’s peace initiative into doubt.

Jared Kushner meeting Mahmoud Abbas
Jared Kushner and Mahmoud Abbas (Reuters)

Earlier this week the State Department in the USA threatened to shut down the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) office in Washington DC. That was due to a US law that says the PLO mission must close if they try to get the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prosecute Israelis for crimes against Palestinians.

It seems to have been Mahmoud Abbas’ recent call on the ICC to open an investigation and prosecute Israeli officials that has convinced the American administration a relevant agreement has been broken.

This is all significant because Arab factions have only just decided that the PLO should be the true representative body for all the Palestinian people, and consequently needs to be at the centre of peace talks.

Thus reports that Mahmoud Abbas had cut all communication with the USA spread rapidly this week. But yesterday that prompted a denial from Saeb Erekat, the PA’s chief negotiator. He said the reports were completely false, and that Abbas respects and appreciates Jared Kushner, Donald Trump`s son-in-law and adviser.

So once again we are left waiting and watching for the next twists and turns in Middle-Eastern politics.