Palestinian Authority leaders have rejected an invitation from the Trump administration to attend a White House meeting of “stakeholders” this Tuesday that is being held with the stated intention to improve life in Gaza.
“In response to the burgeoning humanitarian situation in Gaza, key countries and stakeholders are preparing to act: There was a meeting in Cairo on Thursday, and there will be a brainstorming session at the White House next week to find real solutions to the problems that Hamas has caused,” U.S. Special Representative to International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt wrote Thursday in an op-ed in the Washington Post, “Does Hamas have the courage to admit failure?“\
“President Trump understands that improving the lives of the Palestinians of Gaza means building a thriving economy that can become self-sustaining. This would not only serve the interests of the Palestinians (including the Palestinian Authority) and the United States, but it would also very much be in the interests of our allies Israel and Egypt,” Greenblatt continued, pointing out that it was the terror group’s failure to governor that brought the enclave to the brink of collapse, and the “help” of Iran that added more problems.
“Hamas must not be permitted to participate in any future government until it adheres to the conditions of the Middle East Quartet — the United States, Russia, European Union and United Nations — including by explicitly committing to nonviolence, recognizing the state of Israel, and accepting previous agreements and obligations between the parties. It must disarm and commit to peaceful negotiations. Hamas must also address another humanitarian issue and return missing Israel Defense Forces soldiers who were taken by Hamas, as well as Israeli civilians. There is a way out for Gaza, if only Hamas has the courage to admit failure and chart a new course,” Greenblatt added in his op-ed.
The participating nations and “stakeholders” attending the meeting were not identified.
But officials in Ramallah are somehow more focused on their own role in this drama than they are on the fate of the actual stars in the tragedy – the residents of Gaza themselves – and instead have accused the Trump administration of trying to undermine the Palestinian Authority.
Speaking with Voice of Palestine Radio, PLO Executive Committee member Ahmad Majdalani, an adviser to PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, claimed there was no need for any meeting on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza because the situation there “is a political issue and not a humanitarian one.”
Majdalani claimed the meeting is actually part of a wider effort to isolate Gaza from Ramallah and to “liquidate the Palestinian national project.” A similar fear has been repeatedly expressed by PLO secretary-general Saeb Erekat.