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Minister blasts Joe Biden for moving too slowly to reverse Trump's anti-Palestinian policies

PALESTINIAN Foreign Minister Riad Malki criticised US President Joe Biden today for moving too slowly to reverse all of the Trump administration’s anti-Palestinian policies and not pressing Israel to abandon “its rejection of a two-state solution and peace negotiations.”

Mr Malki told the United Nations security council that there had been hopes that Donald Trump’s departure from the White House and the fall of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu “would be enough to pave the way for renewed momentum for peace.”

But while the Biden administration has reversed several “unlawful and ill-advised” Trump policies, he said that it has been slow to act, especially on a commitment to reopen the US consulate in east Jerusalem.

When Mr Biden took office a year ago, the Palestinians believed that Washington “could try to move the Israeli position toward us,” Mr Malki told reporters later.

“But we have seen that the Israeli position has been able to move the American position a little bit towards them — and this is really what troubles us very much.”

The US “has yet to ensure the current Israeli government renounces its colonial policies and abandons its rejection of the two-state solution and peace negotiations,” Mr Malki continued. “This is an unacceptable stance that should neither be tolerated nor excused and must be reversed.”

Mr Biden began by rejecting the Trump administration’s unabashedly pro-Israel stance and restoring aid to the Palestinians, along with diplomatic contacts.

However, his administration has also retained key elements of Mr Trump’s policies, including several that broke with long-standing US positions on Jerusalem and the legitimacy of Israel’s illegal settlements.

Tor Wennesland, the UN Middle East envoy, told the council that in the past month, six Palestinian men had been killed by Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank and 249 Palestinians had been injured, including 46 children. He added that 15 Israelis had been injured in attacks by Palestinians.

Israel’s UN ambassador Gilad Erdan sneeringly accused Mr Malki of making “regurgitated accusations and baseless claims” and of ignoring the more than 200 Palestinian “terror attacks” in the last month.

Mr Malki called on the security council to take urgent action to resolve the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict and save the two-state solution, pointing to Israel’s accelerated settlement construction, demolition of Palestinian homes, and  confiscation “and even annexing” of Palestinian land.


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