Palestinian Authority Wants to Rule Gaza After Hamas Gone; Blinken Won’t Commit

Palestinian Authority Wants to Rule Gaza After Hamas Gone; Blinken Won’t Commit

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Sunday for a previously unannounced meeting that ended by posing more questions than it answered about the Gaza Strip’s future.

The Times of Israel reports Blinken told Abbas the PA should play a “central role” in the Gaza Strip’s future if and when Israel’s goal of dislodging Hamas is fulfilled, according to the Reuters news agency, which in turn cites an unnamed senior State Department official.

“The future of Gaza was not the focus of the meeting but the Palestinian Authority seemed willing to play a role,” the report says, without attempting to define exactly what the role might be.

No commitment was coming from Blinken on any future arrangement to that end.

Abbas, meantime, asserted the Palestinian Authority would only assume power in Gaza as part of a “comprehensive political solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to the official WAFA news agency.

People chant anti-Israel slogans and carry Palestinian flags as they stage a demonstration against the arrival of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Ramallah for talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, West Bank on November 05, 2023. (Issam Rimawi/Anadolu via Getty)

Abbas condemned Israel’s bombardment of Gaza as a “genocidal war” and urged Blinken “to immediately stop them from committing such crimes,” the agency reported.

Blinken traveled to Ramallah in an armored motorcade and under tight security on the third day of his tour to the Middle East amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas terrorists.

AP reports despite the secrecy and the U.S. State Department’s refusal to confirm the trip until after Blinken had left the West Bank, there were protests against the diplomat’s visit and U.S. support for Israel as word spread of his arrival.

Neither man spoke as they greeted each other in front of cameras and their meeting ended without any public comment.

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