On Thursday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken met in Ramallah with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who submitted to him the following plan for the day after Israel spills blood and treasure to submit the Gaza Strip, where Abbas’s PLO was defeated and murdered in droves by Hamas. Here’s the list, as revealed by News12:
1. The two-state solution: the Security Council will accept Palestine as a member of the United Nations.
2. Convening of an international peace conference to implement the Arab League’s “Arab Peace Initiative” of 2002, which the Abraham Accords effectively eliminated. The initiative offers normalization of relations between the Arab world and Israel, in return for a full withdrawal by Israel from the “occupied territories,” including “the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights, and Lebanon.”
3. Establishment of a new Palestinian government that will control eastern Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
4. The Palestinian Authority will receive exclusive responsibility for the border crossings with Jordan and Egypt, which will be open 24/7.
5. The opening of a safe corridor “connecting Gaza and the West Bank,” the construction of “a port in Gaza and airports in Gaza and the West Bank.”
6. Integrating young Gazans into the security apparatus of the Palestinian Authority.
7. Reforming the Palestinian Authority, and later on holding general elections.
In other words, what Abbas wants is a tight noose around Israel’s neck, depriving the Jewish State of the ability to defend itself and exposing it to terrorist attacks from every direction.
Meanwhile, according to Makor Rishon, a group of Fatah commanders serving in the PA security apparatus in Jenin issued a 24-hour ultimatum to Abbas to declare a total and open confrontation against Israel, otherwise they would declare a military revolt.
They declared in a lengthy release: “Oh, the heroic sons of our nation, the sons of redemption and sacrifice, our youth in the West Bank. We have been very patient with the crimes of the occupation. We were patient with our leaders’ silence and helplessness. We were patient with the orders and instructions while watching every day and every minute the harm being inflicted on our children and women.
“If Brother Abu Mazen (Abbas) does not issue a clear position within 24 hours declaring an open confrontation with the occupation by all means, and does not renounce the Palestinian Authority’s statements to the criminal Blinken, there will be no obedience on our part and we will not implement the instructions of the security apparatus.”
You probably noticed that the same PA proposal that appears to Israelis to be a nightmare scenario, looks like a betrayal of fundamental principles to the Fatah officers in Jenin…
BLINKEN DETERMINED TO REVITALIZE ABBAS & THE PA
Secretary Blinken, who may or may not have been updated on the Fatah ultimatum, said at a press conference in Tel Aviv Thursday night: “In our meetings with Israeli leaders here and Jerusalem, and Palestinian leaders in Ramallah, we discussed our continued focus on preventing the conflict from spreading – whether to the West Bank, to Israel’s northern border, or to the broader region. I raised our deep concerns about steps that could escalate tensions in the West Bank, including extremist settler violence and proposals from parts of the Israeli coalition government to further expand settlements. I made clear our expectations about addressing these issues.”
Blinken was then asked by Reuters’ Humeyra Pamuk: “You and others in the administration have repeatedly said that the United States wants to see a revitalized Palestinian Authority to rule Gaza and the West Bank. So, could you tell us what exactly the US vision is for a revitalized PA?”
The Secretary responded: “With regard to the Palestinian Authority, we’ve said – and indeed, I had an opportunity to discuss today with President Abbas – the need for reform, the need to revitalize, to revamp the Palestinian Authority so that it can most effectively meet the aspirations of the Palestinian people and deliver for them. There are a number of things that go into that including, for example, reform so that it more effectively combats corruption, that it engages and empowers civil society, that it supports free press and open media, and a number of other things.”
Yes, reform is good. Even Chairman Abbas said so in his ambitious 7-point proposal. But Blinken had nothing to say about the implementation of the chairman’s plan, which means that he didn’t reject it out of hand. And so, when Qassam Khateeb from Al Sharq News asked, “Lots of discussions are going on with your call to revamp the Palestinian Authority leadership. Do you consider that [happening] via free, fair election in Gaza, Jerusalem, and the West Bank?” Blinken answered:
“So first, as a matter of basic principle, we support free and fair elections around the world, including, of course, for Palestinians. They should have a right to choose their own leaders, and the way to do it is through free and fair elections. But that has to be a process, and it’s something that we need to be talking about as we move from the conflict to, as we’ve been calling it, the day after – looking at what needs to happen in Gaza, as well as the West Bank, but starting in Gaza, particularly with regard to things like governance, like security, like rebuilding. And part of that discussion needs to be about elections. But again, it’s a process, and it’s something that work needs to go into in the time ahead.”
This means the Biden administration is not going to make the same mistake as the Bush administration which in 2006 insisted on democratic elections in the PA, resulting in the Hamas takeover (due in part to Hamas’s wider popularity among the Arab population, as well as some tall buildings).
They won’t do anything that would get in the way of a Palestinian Authority takeover of Gaza, eastern Jerusalem, and the border crossings with Jordan and Egypt. Though they may try to crown Mohammad Dahlan as the new PA king in the process.