AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Biden Administration Seeks to Subvert Israel’s Plans for Post-Hamas Gaza

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been adamant in his opposition to the Palestinian Authority (PA) governing the Gaza Strip after the Israel Defense Forces wipe out Hamas. However, a recent development suggests this might not matter to the Biden administration, which has been forceful in its contention that the PA should be placed in charge of the region after the Israel-Hamas war concludes.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan recently participated in a meeting with PA leadership to discuss what happens after Hamas is eliminated.

Driving the news: White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan met on Friday in Ramallah with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and discussed with him how the Palestinian Authority could be involved in governing Gaza after the war ends.

“They absolutely talked about post-conflict Gaza and governance issues and about a revamped and revitalized Palestinian Authority that has the responsibility and accountability for how the future of the Palestinian people is managed,” White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said in a briefing with reporters.

Kirby said Sullivan and Abbas discussed the steps needed so the Palestinian Authority would be “more credible, more authentic, and more accountable.”

Behind the scenes: U.S. officials say the Biden administration wants the 87-year-old Abbas to conduct wide-ranging reforms, including injecting “new blood” into the Palestinian Authority’s leadership. Abbas is in the 18th year of a four-year term and has continued to delay elections.

This move is not likely to make Israel’s government happy. It could come off as the Biden administration working to subvert Israel’s plans for the region. Last month, Netanyahu declared that Israel would not allow the PA to have a say in the governance of the Gaza Strip after the war despite President Joe Biden’s insistence that the organization should be involved.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday firmly stated that the Palestinian Authority (PA) will not have any role in governing the Gaza Strip after Hamas is eradicated. The announcement flies in the face of the Biden administration and the United Nations, both of whom have insisted that this should be the outcome after the war is concluded.

Netanyahu’s declaration comes as the U.S. and U.N. have been pressuring Israel to allow the PA to take over the region.

Israel has no intention of handing Gaza over to the Palestinian Authority once the war is over, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday night as he rebuffed United States pressure to do so.

“The Palestinian Authority in its current form is not able to take responsibly for Gaza,” Netanyahu said.

‘After we fought and did all this, how could we hand it over to them?” Netanyahu asked.

He noted that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has yet to condemn the October 7 massacre that sparked the Gaza war, in which Hamas killed over 1,200 people and seized over 239 hostages.

“Abu Mazen 43 days after the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust has refused to condemn it,” Netanyahu said, adding that there are Palestinian ministers who are cele
brating the event.

Nevertheless, the White House seems to be bypassing the Israeli government and is intent on undermining the prime minister’s declaration. This move might have negative consequences not only for U.S.-Israeli relations but also for the people living in Gaza.

Both Hamas and the PA have inflicted numerous human rights abuses against those living in the area for years. Under both of these groups, residents of Gaza and the West Bank have endured extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary arrests, and silencing of speech. Taking this into account, perhaps the Biden administration’s insistence on putting the PA in charge of Gaza isn’t the best of ideas.

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