Skip to main content

Biden, Abbas look to reset US-Palestinian ties to pre-Trump era

The meeting between the US and Palestinian presidents was described as "warm," exceeding low expectations.
US President Joe Biden (C) is received by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas (R) during a welcome ceremony at the Palestinian Muqataa Presidential Compound in the city of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank on July 15, 2022.

US President Joe Biden appears to be angling towards a return of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks. Although he has said that the time is “not ripe,” a reference to the caretaker government in Israel and his own caution, a source who attended yesterday's meeting between President Biden and the Palestinian leadership said that Biden is committed.

While the Palestinian leadership had extremely low expectations, the source in the meeting told Al-Monitor that the US-Palestinian summit was “very, very warm.” According to the source, the US is focused on ensuring that illegal settlement activities are suspended and claimed credit for quashing plans in the Atarot/Qalandia area and the E1 area of East Jerusalem. Israel had recently agreed to delay, but not cancel, those controversial plans for settlements.

The Palestinian delegation headed by President Mahmoud Abbas was happy that the Biden administration reiterated publicly the basis of a peace settlement — an independent, contiguous and viable Palestinian state on the 1967 borders; that Jerusalem issues be left to the talks; and that all unilateral actions must be stopped.

In private, Biden assured continued partnership with the Palestinian Authority, the source said. Biden spoke to the Israeli leadership about the need to stop unilateral actions and settlement activities, and that the US consulate in Jerusalem will be reopened.

“We agreed to open a new page based on the peace process as it was before Trump, and that US support to Palestinians will occur on a gradual basis,” the source said. The US president seems to believe that Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz will allow for a wider margin for political activities.

Biden and Abbas appear to have disagreed on Arab countries' normalization with Israel. Biden noted that it could help the peace process, while Abbas said that solving the Palestinian conflict should be the priority and that the Arab peace plan (first initiated by the Saudis) should be the reference point.

But according to the senior Palestinian source, “We told the US president that the idea of integrating Israeli in the region will not produce security or peace but what concerns us is the need for pressure on Israel to return to the talks.”

Palestinian officials told Al-Monitor that the Negev Forum between Arab leaders and Israeli officials does not concern them, because “there is no political process. What we care about is US commitment to stopping settlements and restarting peace talks.”

Biden promised during his campaign to reopen the US consulate in Jerusalem and the Palestinian mission in Washington. The Palestinian source told Al-Monitor that the latter is more difficult  because “the issue of the PLO being on the terrorism list is an issue for Congress to approve. This will be difficult at this time.” 

Finally, the Palestinian source said that the slain Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was discussed, and that the US president insists on a continuation of the investigation.

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Already a Member? Sign in


The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.


What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial
What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

Text Alerts - Be the first to get breaking news, exclusives, and PRO content.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to and we'll onboard your team.

Already a Member? Sign in

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial