He will be joined by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken during the four-day visit, which will end with a stop in Saudi Arabia.
“He has done nothing to stop Israeli settlements, while home demolitions have gone up since he’s been office, and he hasn’t stopped the killings [of Palestinians] that are happening on an almost-daily basis,” she added.
On Friday, the 79-year-old president will visit occupied East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem where he will hold talks with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, before flying to Saudi Arabia.
In the West Bank, the statement said, Biden would “consult with the Palestinian Authority and to reiterate his strong support for a two-state solution, with equal measures of security, freedom, and opportunity for the Palestinian people”.
“I don’t think Biden’s visit is bringing anything new,” 34-year-old Jerusalem resident Omar Jamal told Al Jazeera.
Further angering Palestinians – particularly Palestinian Americans – is the apparent US decision to overlook the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli forces on May 11.
While Abu Akleh’s family sent a letter to Biden earlier this week demanding a meeting with the president during his visit, there has been no expression of intent by US officials of doing so, or any real steps to push for Israeli accountability.
A United Nations investigation has concluded that the bullet that killed the veteran journalist was fired by Israeli forces. The Biden administration, however, angered Palestinian rights and press freedom advocates when it said earlier this month that State Department investigators had found Israeli military gunfire was “likely responsible” for Abu Akleh’s death, but that forensic analysis showed no reason to believe that the shooting was intentional.
‘Helping sustain apartheid’
Trump also recognised Israeli sovereignty over the 1967-occupied Syrian Golan Heights, closed down the Palestinian representative office in Washington, DC and shut the US consulate to Palestinians in Jerusalem. He also cut financial support to the PA and funding to the UN’s refugee agency (UNRWA), among other things.
Analyst Buttu said Biden was not much different from Trump. While he partially restored financial aidi, he has done nothing to reverse the major changes that Trump implemented, she added.
“The difference is that Biden is doing the same by effectively turning a blind eye, rather than the Trump policy of embracing Israeli illegality,” she said.
“People have this false sense that the US is an honest broker or a dishonest broker,” continued Buttu, adding that such descriptions were unfit.
Fadi Quran, a Ramallah-based political and social activist, agreed.
Pointing to Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia and his expression of efforts to push for normalisation between Israel and the Arab world in a Washington Post opinion piece, Quran told Al Jazeera he believed the US president was merely “buying time for authoritarian leaders and war criminals across the region”.
“Pushing for change would mean helping hold Israeli war criminals accountable at the International Criminal Court, ending weapons sales used to commit war crimes, and forcing Israel to stop its theft of Palestinian land.
“President Biden is doing none of the above.”