Monday, October 30, 2023

Suddenly, the Palestinian Authority doesn't want Gaza

For over 15 years since the Hamas coup, the Palestinian Authority has been trying to regain control over Gaza.

They have tried "unity" agreements. They have tried restricting electricity and fuel and medicines. Nothing has worked.

Now, they are seeing the possibility of Hamas being toppled from power - and suddenly, they have lost all interest.

The Palestinian Authority will not return to governing Gaza after the Israel-Hamas conflict without a comprehensive agreement that includes the West Bank in a Palestinian state, the authority’s prime minister has said.

Israeli civilian and military officials have said their plan for the end of the Gaza war is to have some form of transitional authority rule the territory, perhaps involving Arab states, leading to the restoration of the Palestinian Authority (PA), which was ousted from Gaza in a 2007 Hamas coup.

But Mohammad Shtayyeh, who has been prime minister since 2019, said the PA would not cooperate without a return to a genuine peace process resulting in two sovereign states.

“To have the Palestinian Authority go to Gaza and run the affairs of Gaza without a political solution for the West Bank, as if this Palestinian Authority is going aboard an F-16 or an Israeli tank?” Shtayyeh said. “I don’t accept it. Our president [Mahmoud Abbas] does not accept it. None of us will accept it.”
To the PA, Hamas' attack on innocent Jews is an opportunity to extort concessions from Israel.

In the past, Mahmoud Abbas has threatened, many times, to dissolve the PA and force Israel to re-occupy and take care of day to day affairs, which would be a huge drain. Here he sees a way to do the same without losing anything - forcing Israel to govern Gaza and refusing to do the job they are supposed to be doing under existing agreements. 

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