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Biden with Abbas in 2010. Photo: Thaer Ganaim/PPO via Getty Images

The Biden administration has now had more official contacts with Palestinian officials in its first two weeks than the Trump administration did in its final three years.

Why it matters: The State Department's deputy assistant secretary for Israel-Palestine, Hady Amr, spoke by phone with multiple Palestinian officials on Monday. Those were the first publicly announced interactions between the sides as the Biden administration moves to renew ties that had been effectively severed since Donald Trump announced in December 2017 that he was moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

What they're saying: “We discussed bilateral relations, the latest current developments and politics. It was a positive conversation. It was agreed to continue communication," the Palestinian minister for civilian affairs, Hussein al-Sheikh, tweeted after speaking with Amr.

The big picture: The Biden administration is planning to roll back many of Trump’s policies on Israel-Palestine.

  • According to Biden administration officials, the U.S. will resume aid to the Palestinians and reopen the Palestinian Liberation Organization office in Washington as well as the consulate in Jerusalem.
  • The Biden administration will oppose annexation, settlement building and the demolition of Palestinian homes by Israel.

Worth noting: Amr will be one of the key players shaping the administration's policies on Israel-Palestine. He is highly respected by Palestinian officials, who see him as a balanced actor.

  • The Biden administration is not planning to appoint a special envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and the issue will be handled mostly by the State Department.

The latest: Palestinian news website Amad reported on Saturday that Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh and director of Palestinian Intelligence Majed Faraj also spoke on the phone with Amr.

  • Shtayyeh confirmed that they discussed the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and reopening of the PLO office in Washington, along with the renewal of U.S. financial aid to the Palestinian Authority and to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.

Go deeper

Emergency declaration issued in 17 states and D.C. over fuel pipeline cyberattack

Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Biden administration said it's "working with" fuel pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline to try and restart operations after a ransomware attack took it offline.

Why it matters: Friday night's cyberattack is "the most significant, successful attack on energy infrastructure" known to have occurred in the U.S., notes energy researcher Amy Myers Jaffe, per Politico. A regional emergency

12 mins ago - World

Sullivan expresses "serious concerns" to Israeli counterpart about Jerusalem violence

Israeli soldiers throw tear gas canisters at Palestinian demonstrators during a protest near the Jewish settlement of Beit El near Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, on Sunday. Photo: Abbas Momani/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan expressed "serious concerns" Sunday to his Israeli counterpart about "violent confrontations" in Jerusalem and planned evictions of Palestinian families from their homes in the city's east, per a White House statement.

Driving the news: More than 250 Palestinians and several Israeli police officers have been wounded since Friday. Israeli police have used tear gas, stun grenades, water cannons and rubber bullets on protesters, who've thrown "rocks and water bottles" at officers, per NPR. The violence continued Sunday night, AP notes.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Updated 4 hours ago - Technology

Exclusive: GLAAD finds top social media sites "categorically unsafe"

The leading social media sites — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube — are all "categorically unsafe" for LGBTQ people, according to a new study from GLAAD, the results of which were revealed Sunday on "Axios on HBO."

The big picture: GLAAD had planned to give each of the sites a grade as part of its inaugural social media index, but opted not to give individual grades this year after determining all the leading sites would receive a failing grade.