Palestinians have traditionally refrained from taking an explicit public position in the US presidential election. Shtayyeh’s comments reflected Palestinian sense of desperation after a series of US moves that left them weakened and isolated.
Palestinians severed ties with Trump after recognizing disputed Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in late 2017 and subsequently relocating the US embassy to the holy city. Trump also cut hundreds of millions of dollars in US aid to the Palestinians, closed Palestinian diplomatic offices in Washington, and issued a Middle East plan this year that largely benefited Israel. The Palestinians rejected the plan a priori.
The Trump administration has also convinced two Arab countries, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel and has promised that other Arab nations will follow suit. These agreements have undermined the traditional Arab consensus that recognition of Israel comes only in exchange for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement ̵
Shtayyeh expressed hope that a victory by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden would raise the prospects for a peace deal.
“If things change in the United States, I think that will directly affect the Israeli-Palestinian relationship,” he said. “And it will also reflect on the Palestinian-American bilateral relationship”.