Palestinian Authority working with US, UK on postwar plan for Gaza

Palestinian Authority working with US, UK on postwar plan for Gaza
The Palestinian Authority is reported to begin working with British and American officials on a plan to run Gaza after the war is over
3 min read
08 December, 2023
US President Joe Biden previously said that the Palestinian Authority should ultimately govern the Gaza Strip and the West Bank following Israel's war on Gaza [Getty]

The Palestinian Authority (PA) is working with US and UK officials on a plan to run Gaza after Israel’s war on Gaza is over. 

Bloomberg News first reported on the US involvement in the PA’s postwar plan, citing Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh. 

The prime minister said that the preferred outcome of the conflict would be for Hamas, which currently controls Gaza, to become a junior partner under the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO)

Alongside Hamas, they will jointly help to build a new independent state that includes the Israel-occupied territories West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, Shtayyeh told Bloomberg on Thursday. 

"If they (Hamas) are ready to come to an agreement and accept the political platform of the PLO, then there will be room for talk. Palestinians should not be divided," Shtayyeh said, adding that Israel's aim to fully defeat Hamas is unrealistic. 

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on the other hand, reaffirmed his stance for the PA not to run Gaza. 

"The fact that this is what the Palestinian Authority is suggesting only reinforces my policy: the Palestinian Authority is not the solution," Netanyahu responded to Shtayyeh's remarks in a social media post. 

UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps told The Times that British officials are also in talks with the PA, who are part of The British Support Team, which collaborates with US and Canadian military personnel. 

The group has also been based in Ramallah for over a decade and has worked with elements of the Palestinian security services, according to Shapps. 

Shapps had met with the team and PA Interior Minister General Ziad Hab al-Reeh in Ramallah on Thursday- who said the UK’s role can help the PA to expand its power in Gaza. 

“Ultimately, I think the solution (to governance of Gaza) is likely to be a Palestinian Authority, who need to be capable of a level of governance which will require a huge amount of international help and support and we are not there yet,” the defence secretary told The Times. 

“We have to use this appalling crisis to improve the security of Israelis and the lives and livelihoods of Palestinians. And I think you do that by bringing together an international coalition which is led by Arab states in terms of the on-the-ground reconstruction of Gaza and also administratively.” 

Shapps continued, “One of the reasons we are going to Ramallah to talk to the Palestinian Authority is to understand their capacity and ability. One of the things we will be doing is talking to the British team who are helping to build that capacity along with the Americans.” 

The UK and US’s latest strategy comes after members of the PA have said that their government is ready to take control of Gaza following an end of hostilities since October 7. 

More than 17,487 Palestinians have been killed and 46,480 wounded since Israel began bombarding Gaza, according to the Palestinian health ministry.