Egyptian news website Al-Youm al-Saba'a, which is considered to be Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's mouth piece, published a supposed protocol on Tuesday of a meeting that was held in Washington on December 12 between US Secretary of State John Kerry and US National Security Advisor Susan Rice and a Palestinian delegation headed by senior Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) member Saeb Erekat.
The protocol states that Kerry and Rice told the Palestinian delegation that the current US administration under President Barack Obama would be willing to cooperate with them in the UN Security Council given that the resolution would be a balanced one. The added that they have instructed US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power to be in contact with Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations Riyad Mansour.
During the meeting, Kerry and Rice were reportedly both severely critical of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accusing him of wanting to destroy the possibility of a two-state solution. They also praised Erekat for predicting Netanyahu's policy trajectoy four years ago—namely, one of maintaining the status quo while making minor adjustments.
Kerry said that he could present ideas for a possible permanent solution on the condition that the Palestinians would endorse them upon their publication. Furthermore, he apparently advised the Palestinians to send a representative to Riyadh in order to share the suggestions with the Saudis.
Advice on how to cope with the incoming administration
Rice opposed kerry’s plan, saying there is no point offering ideas or parameters for a solution since the Trump administration would categorically reject it. The Trump administration is dangerous and the steps the president-elect will take toward the Israelis and Palestinians will differ from all American governments since 1967, she said.
According to the document, Kerry and Rice wanted to hear how the Palestinians intended to respond if President-elect Trump did follow through on his pledge to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.
The US security advisor added further that she was fully convinced that Trump intends to do as he said on the campaign trail and meant all that he said about settlements.
Erekat responded that in the event that Trump moves the embassy, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) would annul their recognition of Israel, impose on Israel responsibility to manage the civil and economic authority and would seek to enlist the help of all Arab and Muslim states to work to remove the newly relocated embassy.
Rice interjected, warning that such a response would only serve to further complicate matters.
At this point, the Americans offered their own advice on how to deal with Trump, telling Erekat that they had already advised Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas against taking steps that would be perceived by the former businessman as provocative, such as dismantling the PA, appealing to the Hague or terminating security cooperation.
The Palestinians had to prevent suicide bombings or terror attacks, the Americans emphasized, since they would constitute a threat to the Palestinian position.
Moreover, the Palestinians were advised to seek the help of businessman Ronald Lauder in order to establish a connection with Trump. However, the Palestinians informed that they had already approached Lauder, who in turn had approached Trump, but were rejected after being told that he is currently working on assembling the new administration but that when he was done, he would bring about a meeting between Trump and the Palestinians.
With that, Kerry and Rice asked the Palestinians to keep the content of the conversation totally confidential and to refrain from leaking it due to its sensitive nature, particularly as the Obama administration counts its final days.