Palestinian Authority resumes ties with Israeli government

Ron Kampeas

(JTA) — The Palestinian Authority has resumed security and financial ties with Israel, in part because its leaders believe a Biden presidency will bring Palestinians back into the peacemaking fold.

Israel will now resume funneling taxes to the Palestinian Authority and security cooperation. According to reports, the preeminent reason that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas resumed the ties was because Palestinian areas were suffering a cash crunch.

Hussein Al Sheikh, a senior official of Abbas’ ruling Fatah Party, announced the change Monday in a Twitter post of his appearance on a Palestinian news program.

In the appearance, Al Sheikh cited the election of Joe Biden as president, saying that Biden’s announced changes to U.S. policy on the Palestinians facilitated the change. Biden has said he will resume diplomatic ties with the Palestinians ended by President Donald Trump and resume U.S. assistance.

Biden also is adamantly opposed to Israel’s annexation of any part of the West Bank and emphasizes a two-state outcome as a means of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Al Sheikh also said that communications from Israel recommitting the country to prior agreements were a factor. He said the prior commitments nullify the peace proposal Trump unveiled in January, which the Palestinians revile because in the long run it would allow Israel to annex parts of the West Bank.

The Palestinian Authority cut ties with Israel in May partly because of plans by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to annex parts of the West Bank. Netanyahu cited the Trump peace proposal as a pretext, although Trump administration officials made clear that no annexation could take place for at least four years unless the Palestinians were in agreement.

Annexation came off the table in August as the Trump administration brokered the normalization deal among Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The UAE would not enter the deal, which was signed in September, unless Israel agreed to suspend plans for annexation.