Why is Salam Fayyad – Palestinian Authority Prime Minister – going to head the delegation that will visit Netanyahu?

The Israel Project sent out an email over the weekend saying that Salam Fayyad, who had nothing to do with negotiations, will meet Benjamin Netanyahu next week about negotiations…

The same news was published in a report by Agence France Presse (AFP) on Thursday [which cited the Israeli Prime Minister’s Arabic-language media adviser Ofir Gendelman as its source]. The AFP story, which was posted here, said:

    ” ‘Prime Minister Netanyahu will meet with Palestinian prime minister Fayyad’, Israeli premier’s spokesman Ofir Gendelman said in a statement posted on his official Twitter feed. He initially said the meeting would take place next week, but later clarified that it would occur after the Jewish holiday of Passover, which begins at sundown on Friday and ends on April 13. Palestinian officials confirmed the meeting and said Fayyad would hand Netanyahu a letter from Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas about the stalled peace process. ‘A Palestinian delegation will take a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’, Nimr Hammad, an advisor to Abbas told AFP on Wednesday. He said Fayyad would be joined by senior Palestinian official Yasser Abed Rabbo and negotiator Saeb Erakat. Visiting US envoy David Hale was meeting Fayyad early on Wednesday evening and was scheduled to see Abbas later, Palestinian officials said”.

The same AFP story noted that:

    “Abbas has reportedly prepared a letter restating Palestinian terms for returning to negotiations and warning that the status quo risks rendering the Palestinian Authority useless. Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Tuesday that the letter would not include any threats by Abbas to dismantle the Palestinian Authority, as had previously been reported. But on Monday, the Palestinian leader said his message would contain a warning for the Israeli leader. ‘You have made the Palestinian Authority a non-Authority. You have taken from it all its specialisations and commitments’, he said in Cairo, quoting from the letter”.

The Jerusalem Post’s Khaled Abu Toameh reported today, here, that:

    “A PA official in Ramallah said over the weekend that dissolving the PA was not not an option. The official denied that Abbas had any plans to dismantle the PA because of the stalemate in the peace process. Abbas is planning to send a letter to Netanyahu in the coming days that does not include such a threat, the official told The Jerusalem Post. The letter, he added, would hold Israel fully responsible for the current stalemate because of its refusal to stop construction in the settlements and east Jerusalem neighborhoods and accept the pre-1967 lines as the future borders of a Palestinian state. Abbas’s letter, which will be delivered to Netanyahu by PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, will also demand the release of Palestinians who were imprisoned before the signing of the Oslo Accords nearly two decades ago, the official noted”.

But, I’m still puzzled about this report that PA PM Salam Fayyad [a resident of East Jerusalem, so easier for him to move around inside the city] will present letter to Israeli PM Netanyahu in just over a week’s time … It can’t be just that the Israeli PM likes him better than he might like Sa’eb Erekat.
Why wouldn’t it be Palestinian leader Abbas himself — would that look too much like negotiations? So then, why wouldn’t it be someone from the PLO Executive Committee [Fayyad is not a member, but Sa’eb Erekat is, for example]. Why is this delegation being led by someone whose only function is as a member of the Palestinian Authority?

Since it’ll be PA PM Fayyad who’ll be delivering letter to Netanyahu, will he be empowered to present PA Cabinet resignation if no progress?

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