Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtayyeh has met with US security officials in Rawabi in recent days, TPS has learned.
US security officials met this week with PA security officials for two days in Rawabi, near Ramallah, at the end of which Ishtayeh was invited to meet the group. The meeting was officially held to depart from a US official but was, in fact, a work meeting.
A PA official told TPS that he believes this was a primary meeting to examine the possibility of resuming relations between the US and PA. The relations were unilaterally officially suspended by the PA after President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The official explained that the PA is seeking a way to reverse its stated policy that refuses any contact with the Trump administration. Similarly, Ishtayeh believes that the PA should receive the tax transfers from Israel, even after Israel cut the sum as a penalty for the PA’s practice of paying terrorists.
However, he will not act on his own initiative, and therefore he ensured that a representative of PA head Mahmoud Abbas was present at the meeting.
In the meetings, the US officials called on their PA counterparts to maintain the peace and to continue their coordination with Israel’s defense establishment.
A PA officer who was present in the meeting told TPS that the Americans promised to continue financially supporting the PA security services and even discussed enlarging the support.
The officer further estimated that US officials fear the PA’s collapse and their opinions on the issue are significantly different than those of the political elements.
He also reported that Majd Faraj, head of the PA’s intelligence, has stated that he will maintain his contact with the US, but will not meet with US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman or with Jason Greenblatt, the US’ Special Representative for International Negotiations.
Israeli security officials are also fearful of a pending collapse of the PA. TPS learned Monday that Israel is considering waiving NIS 200 million a month of PA tax payments to Israel for fuel in order to alleviate the PA financial crisis.