The PA's Return to Gaza Is Impractical and Unwanted

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Yoni Ben Menachem - PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was severely criticized for his remarks at the Arab Summit in Manama, Bahrain, on May 16, 2024. Abbas blamed Hamas for providing Israel with reasons to attack Gaza. In February, he urged Hamas to complete a deal for the release of Israeli hostages to prevent further disaster for Palestinians. Despite pressure from the Biden administration for the PA to manage Gaza post-war, the Israeli government does not see the PA as a viable option. Prime Minister Netanyahu views the PA as a promoter of terrorism, pointing to its failure to condemn the Oct. 7 massacre, its practice of paying salaries to terrorists, and its incitement against Israel in its educational and media systems. The PA's legitimacy is questioned on the Palestinian street, where it is seen as corrupt and unfit to govern the West Bank and Gaza. The PA's refusal to hold general elections exacerbates this distrust, as many believe Abbas would lose. The Gazan public harbors significant animosity towards Abbas, who imposed sanctions on Gaza in 2018 to incite rebellion against Hamas. The Biden administration is also disappointed with the PA, labeling the new technocratic government led by Mohammad Mustafa a puppet of Abbas. Moreover, the PA's loss of security control in northern Samaria to Iranian-backed terrorist groups raises further doubts about its ability to manage Gaza. It is unlikely that PA security personnel would confront Hamas' armed terrorists. The writer, a Senior Researcher at the Jerusalem Center, is a veteran Arab affairs and diplomatic commentator for Israel Radio and Television.

2024-05-21 00:00:00

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