Trump Peace Envoy Calls for Palestinian Authority to Re-Take Control of Gaza
Hamas has failed as governors of the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian Authority should take over according to President Donald Trump’s foreign negotiations chief. Jason Greenblatt, one of the trio of Israeli-Palestinian negotiators headed by Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, remained in Israel after the official visit by the team last week. On Wednesday, Greenblatt toured the Israeli side of the Gaza border with Lt. Gen. Yoav Mordecai, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, and concluded that “the Palestinian Authority needs to resume its role in the administration of Gaza, as Hamas has substantially harmed the people of Gaza and has failed to meet their most basic needs.” The PA did control Gaza until Hamas violently took control away from the PA and Fatah in 2007, a year after Hamas defeated Fatah in an election but was prevented from taking what it believed was its rightful elected position. In the ensuing years, Hamas rule became accepted at least in a de facto way by much of the international community as the lines continue to blur between Hamas’ role as Islamist terrorist organization and its role as governors of Gaza. Most recently, Hamas has made headway in warming relations with Egypt, which previously considered it to be an offshoot of nemesis Muslim Brotherhood and treated it as such. Greenblatt’s comment was the first by a senior American official affirmatively calling for the PA to take control. Visiting United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres also viewed the Israeli side of the border but from the air via helicopter. He also was shown the Hamas smuggling/terror tunnels before traveling into the Gaza Strip to see UN institutions. There, he declared his support for an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza.