It took a full seven weeks, but President Trump finally spoke to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas by phone Friday afternoon.
Trump, according to a Palestinian spokesman, invited Abbas to meet with him at the White House in the near future, although the date is yet to be set. The spokesman, Nabil Abu Rdainah, said Trump wishes to discuss with the Palestinian president ways to “resume the political process, stressing his commitment to a peace process that will lead to a real peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis.”
The Trump administration has also allowed the release of $221 million in aid to the Palestinians, after initially vowing to block transfer of an assistance package approved in the final hours of the Obama administration. According to the State Department, the aid was provided directed to projects on the ground and not disbursed through the Palestinian Authority.
Morton Klein, national president of the Zionist Organization of America expressed disappointment with the decision to invite Abbas to the White House. “Abbas pays families of Arabs who murder Israelis,” Klein said. “He should not be allowed anywhere close to the White House.”