The Generation, Yeat 01, Issue 11
Who will govern Gaza when Israel’s military offensive against Hamas ends? After five weeks of fighting, the answer remains shrouded in confusion. Hamas, a Palestinian Islamist group, has governed the coastal territory of about 2.4 million people since 2007 after which Israel placed Gaza under a strict blockade governing the movement of people and goods in and out. Hamas seized power that year following street battles with the Palestinian Authority (PA). US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said late last month that the PA should retake control of the Gaza Strip from Hamas, with international players potentially filling a role in the interim.
The Palestinian Authority currently has partial administrative control in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. But in a meeting with Blinken earlier this month, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas said the PA could only assume power in Gaza if a “comprehensive political solution” is found for the decades-old Israel-Palestinian conflict encompassing the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
Last Wednesday Blinken again spoke of “Palestinian-led governance”, and a Gaza “unified with the West Bank” under the Palestinian Authority.
Abbas, 88, who has led the PA for 18 years, is widely unpopular and has been powerless against the rapid expansion of Israeli settlements and military control in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday told Fox News his country does not plan to reoccupy Gaza. Israel had occupied Gaza in 1967 and remained there until completing a withdrawal in 2005, leaving local authority with the PA.
Pushed on his plan for Gaza’s future, Netanyahu said the blockaded territory must be “demilitarised, deradicalised and rebuilt.”
“I do not believe that any actor will agree to govern Gaza in these circumstances,” said Hasan Khreisheh, deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
Source: AFP, Ramallah