The Palestinian Authority (PA) is considering suspending its recognition of Israel ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden's upcoming visit to Israel, Palestinian sources told Ynet on Thursday.
The Palestinian leadership has agreed on a tactic of gradually upping the ante against Jerusalem in a bid to stir international pressure and turn the screws on the White House in order to score lucrative overtures from the Americans.
As part of the measures, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is considering adopting the Palestinian Central Council's decision to suspend its 1994 recognition of Israel until the latter withdraws from territories it seized in the 1967 Six-Day War and recognizes a Palestinian state within their border. Ramallah is also considering suspending security ties with Jerusalem.
The PA publicly presents these measures as a response to the events of Jerusalem Day in which some Jewish visitors were seen waving Israeli flags and praying on the Temple Mount, breaking a decades-old understanding between Israel and Muslim authorities banning the practice.
Abbas also drew a direct link between simmering tensions on the West Bank and the long-defunct diplomatic talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
Ramallah believes the Biden administration has failed to fulfill its promises to the Palestinians, including the reopening of the U.S. Consulate in East Jerusalem which served as Washington's de-facto diplomatic mission in the PA.
Israel has lobbied the White House behind the scenes to prevent the reopening of the consulate that closed in the days of the Trump administration.
Palestinian sources told Ynet that "if President Biden intends to come to the meeting with [Abbas] offering only a modest economic relief package, then it is better that he not come at all".
According to the sources, a summit between the two leaders without any significant achievements for the Palestinians would only serve to further weaken the already frail PA and push it to the wayside.
The Palestinians will be pleased if the U.S.'s gestures include an announcement on the reopening of the consulate in Jerusalem, removing the ruling Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) from the U.S. list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, and the reopening of the PLO mission in Washington which was also closed during the Trump administration.
Biden and Abbas last met in Ramallah in 2010 when the former served as vice president under Barack Obama.
As part of the Palestinian pressure campaign, Abbas scolded U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a phone call for what he considered "the international community's lack of action against Israel and its actions" and Washington's silence on "Israeli provocations that breach international law."
Israeli sources are concerned this policy shift may further increase tensions with the Palestinians.