Abbas Declines Phone Call with Joe Biden Amid Israel Visit

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declined a proposed telephone conversation with US President Joe Biden during the latter's recent visit to Israel

by Faruk Imamovic
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Abbas Declines Phone Call with Joe Biden Amid Israel Visit
© Getty Images News/Kena Betancur

Amid heightened tensions in the Middle East, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declined a telephone conversation with US President Joe Biden during the latter's visit to Israel, according to a report by public broadcaster Khan.

A Missed Connection

An anonymous source in Ramallah informed Khan that officials from the Biden administration made efforts to set up a telephonic interaction between Biden and Abbas during the president's Israel trip.

The attempt, however, was met with a refusal from the Palestinian leader. Despite this, the communication channels between the US and Palestinian Authority remained active, underscoring the ongoing diplomacy amidst a fraught situation.

The strained relations became evident as Abbas expressed displeasure over Washington's backing for Israel during its confrontation with Hamas. Adding to the string of declined interactions, Abbas also called off a previously scheduled meeting with President Biden and other Arab leaders, set to take place at a summit in Jordan.

Biden's Stance in Israel

During his Israel visit, President Biden took the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, expressing his support. Drawing parallels with the aftermath of the traumatic September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the US, Biden cautioned Israelis against allowing anger to guide their responses.

This warning came in the wake of an assault by the Palestinian militant group, Hamas. It's worth noting that an in-person meeting between Abbas and Biden had been on the agenda during the US President's Middle East tour. The planned interaction was, however, canceled by Abbas after the tragic bombing of the Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza.

This devastating incident resulted in the loss of nearly 500 lives and led to an official three-day mourning period throughout Palestine. The unfolding events in the Middle East underline the complexities of the region and the delicate balance of power, diplomacy, and emotions at play.

With each decision and every interaction – or the lack thereof – the path to peace appears more intricate than ever before.

Joe Biden
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