With President Trump’s Middle East peace plan stalled, administration officials are focusing on improving conditions in Gaza, despite PA President Abbas saying last month that he rejected a U.S.-organized economic package for Gaza, the Washington Post reports.
The larger peace proposal has been stymied by the Palestinian Authority, which remains incensed at Trump’s decision last year to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. “We definitely have a Gaza focus right now because the situation is the way it is, and we want to try to help,” said a senior Trump administration official. “But it’s not as though we think we need to fix Gaza first before we would air the peace plan.”
“There is really no deadline,” the official said. “We’re here for, what, another two and a half years? Or six and a half years. So, on our side, we have the luxury of time and can be patient. The plan isn’t going to change.” (Washington Post)
Meanwhile, Palestinians angry over their dysfunctional government and decrepit infrastructure are souring on Mahmoud Abbas as protests have broken out in Ramallah. The WSJ reports that more than 60% of Palestinians want Abbas to resign, according to a public-opinion poll released Wednesday by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. Abbas is now in the 13th year of what was meant to be a four-year term and has been in and out of the hospital in recent months.