RAMALLAH, Monday, April 12, 2021 (WAFA) – Palestine today welcomed the US administration’s steps to rectify the previous administration’s illegal actions and stated that it awaits more.
Speaking to Palestine TV, Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Minister Riad al-Malki stated that the Palestinian-US relations was significantly improving compared to previous years during former US President Donald Trump’s term, especially after current President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have pledged to reverse a number of Trump’s illegal measures on Palestine.
“Since the current US administration took office, it has been sending strong signals (to the Palestinian side) and translating them to reality by deciding to resume economic and financial aid to the Palestinian Authority as well as to the East Jerusalem hospitals, civil society organizations and the United Nations agency responsible for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA," he said.
“These signals are welcome, and we await more steps to be taken within the framework of mending the strained Palestinian-US relations so that thet will become proper and strong on the right track,” he added.
The top Palestinian diplomat stressed the importance that the new US administration focuses on the political aspect and correct the wrongs committed by Trump, namely recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, relocating the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, shutting the US Consulate General in Jerusalem and merging it with the US embassy to Israel, closing the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington, dropping the term “occupied territories” when referring to the West Bank, and labeling Israeli colonial settlement products as “Made in Israel”.
“We expect that the US administration would start setting dates for correcting the wrongs committed by Trump’s administration against the Palestinian question,” he added.
Commenting on the US administration statements that the two-state solution is the best solution to the conflict, he said: “We have to wait now to see the mechanism of applying this on the ground, and the steps and mechanisms that would be taken by the US administration through the International Quartet.”
On the upcoming elections, al-Malki affirmed the determination to hold the elections on May 22 and that elections would not be held without being organized in Jerusalem, while noting that the previous letter Israel has sent to the Palestinians declaring its commitment to all agreements is now “put to the test”.
“Israel has not yet responded to the letter sent by Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh on holding the elections in Jerusalem, and we expect that Israel would not respond favorably to it,” he added.
He made reference to ongoing contacts with the Quartet and the United Nations to urge Israel to allow holding the elections in the occupied city of East Jerusalem. “We have not yet received a response from the Quartet,” he added.
According to al-Malki, Israel has not responded to a European Union’s request on allowing observers to monitor the upcoming elections.
“We suspect that Israel would never respond to the request,” he said, while considering the recent prevention of an electoral event planned by Palestinian civil society organizations at the Ambassador Hotel in occupied East Jerusalem and subsequent detention of some candidates and Fatah activists as a clear signal that Israel would not allow the elections be held in Jerusalem.
He affirmed that the Palestinian leadership continues to pressure the international community to assume its role and responsibilities on the democratic process, while noting that he would tour several European capitals to urge them to put pressure on Israel to ensure elections are held in Jerusalem.
Commenting on the opening of an inquiry by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories, he said that Palestine is set to sign a memorandum of understanding with ICC on opening the investigation.