Palestinians: We Will No Longer Meet U.S. Officials On Negotiations

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Palestinian officials will not meet with any American diplomats during future negotiations, in protest against U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a senior adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told the Times of Israel on Sunday.

The boycott extends to Trump’s envoy on the Israeli-Arab conflict, Jason Greenblatt, as well as Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.

In addition, no Palestinian official will meet U.S. Vice President Mike Pence when he lands in Israel on Wednesday.

“No one from the American administration will be met to discuss peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis, because the [PA] president was very clear on that,” Majdi al-Khalidi was quoted by the Times of Israel, in reference to Abbas’s speech at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul last week.

Khalidi said that Greenblatt did not seek a meeting with the Palestinians. He is expected to arrive in Israel as Muslims in the Palestinian territories and across the region protest against Trump’s declaration.

The peace envoy “knows that no meeting will happen, even if he asks,” Khalidi said.

In his comments at the OIC meeting in Istanbul last week, Abbas said the White House’s new policy on Jerusalem means that “the United States has chosen to lose its eligibility as an intermediary. It does not have any role in the political process.”

The Palestinians last week canceled a meeting with Pence. Palestinian officials called on the Palestinians to protest en masse at the entrance to Jerusalem in order to block the vice president’s convoy from entering the city.