March 13 was a turbulent day for Majid Faraj, head of the Palestinian Authority's (PA) General Intelligence Service. In the early morning hours, he survived an assassination attempt that targeted Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah’s convoy with a bomb. Hamdallah was visiting Gaza to inaugurate a desalination plant. The PA believes, however, the attackers were actually trying to kill Faraj. Fortunately for him, he was not in his own vehicle, which was the target of the detonation, but in Hamdallah’s car instead.
Before Faraj could even recover from the attack, he was informed that Mike Pompeo, director of the CIA and someone he considered a friend, had been appointed US secretary of state in the Donald Trump administration, replacing Rex Tillerson, who had just been fired. The Palestinians have not felt this relieved since the crisis that erupted last December between the United States and the Palestinians after Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv.