The mood in the West Bank city of Ramallah these days is one of doom and gloom. It seems that all diplomatic doors have closed as US President Donald Trump has decided to take the Israeli government’s side and is apparently guided mostly by domestic considerations. The European Union is relatively isolated by the United States and is mostly concerned with the cohesion of the EU after Brexit. The sweeping majority at the United Nations General Assembly against the US’ Jerusalem proclamation did not produce any tangible results. The diplomatic process is hopelessly deadlocked.
According to a senior PLO official close to President Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president is losing hope that a diplomatic route could lead to statehood in the foreseeable future. Still, Abbas keeps communicating with his main Arab partners — Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia — on various initiatives, such as the recognition of a Palestinian state under occupation by the UN General Assembly. Speaking bitterly, the official admitted that while the Palestinians can collect a large number of diplomatic victories at the UN, on the ground there is only one process taking place — a process that includes the enlargement of Israeli settlements, the deepening of the occupation and a growing economic annexation.