Majed Faraj, head of the Palestinian General Intelligence Service and viewed as a possible successor to President Mahmoud Abbas in a number of Middle East capitals, is now in the midst of intensive negotiations in Washington with his American hosts. On the table is an effort to reboot Trump administration relations with the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah. It was publicized in Israel on Sept. 3 that President Donald Trump asked Abbas to meet with him in New York when Trump will attend the UN General Assembly gathering later this month, but Abbas rejected the offer. The disconnect between Washington and Ramallah blocks all American efforts to jump-start the negotiations and finally unfurl the “deal of the century” that is being crafted by emissaries Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt for recalcitrant partners Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Parallel efforts were also made in Ramallah. High-level representatives of Egyptian intelligence met with Abbas Sept. 1 for four continuous hours in an effort to reach some type of compromise that would enable renewal of the negotiations. The elderly, unwell Palestinian leader was focused, alert and in good form, but no compromise was reached.