The mood among Palestinians surrounding President Mahmoud Abbas wavers between desperation and hope and between cautious optimism and dire pessimism. They were beginning to feel like they were having some success with a policy of “quiet, smart diplomacy,” as top Palestinian officials described the initial feelers they sent out to the Donald Trump administration. Trump's comments on Feb. 15 therefore left them stunned. At a White House press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump surprised the Palestinians, saying, “I’m looking at two-state and one-state. I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one.”
In a conversation with Al-Monitor, a Palestinian security official said that it will take a long time for the Palestinians to unravel what they consider to be Trump's conflicting messages, the balance of power in the new administration and the overall mood regarding just about everything having to do with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. “One day he's for the settlements, the next day he says that they don't contribute to peace. One day he's moving the embassy to Jerusalem, and then he says that he hasn't decided yet. This leaves us walking carefully between the raindrops,” he said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.