Palestine Television aired a rather poorly-staged interview with a stiff and ill-at-ease Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) this evening, with a shiny Palestinian flag partly draped across the background.
The angles and the lighting was not good, and at one point the camera cut away to a shot of the Palestinian flag by itself, while Abu Mazen was talking.
Abu Mazen sent his holiday (Eid al-Fitr) greetings to the Palestinian people, and then explained that he had only accepted the trilateral meeting held yesterday at the periphery of the high-level event of the annual UN General Assembly at the call of U.S. President Obama, and out of respect for him.
Abu Mazen said that he repeated the same thing before, during and after the meeting. He said that Israel should return all Palestinian land occupied on or after 4 June 1967, including East Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, the Jordan River, and East Jerusalem’s Old City’s mosque esplanade known as the Haram as-Sharif.
Palestinians were not sympathetic to Abu Mazen’s having caved in and changed his position to accept “Obama’s call”.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) said in a report carried by The Forward that “The meetings ran overtime, and Mahmoud Abbas wouldn’t stop arguing even after he stepped into a room full of cameras. Reporters could not make out exactly what was exercising the Palestinian Authority president in his exchange with President Obama, but fist pounding isn’t usually a sign of things going well”. This report can be read in full here.