In an op-ed in The Washington Post on Saturday, President Joe Biden said once the conflict between Israel and Hamas is over, a revitalized Palestinian Authority (PA) should return to governing the Gaza Strip.
When Israel handed Gaza over to the Palestinians in 2005, the PA, the governing authority in the West Bank, ruled until it was ousted in 2006 parliamentary elections and replaced by the political wing of the Hamas terrorist organization. With Israel determined to end Hamas following its Oct. 7 terrorist attack, a political vacuum will be created when the war is over.
But David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel in the Trump administration, told Newsmax on Monday it would not be good for the PA to return and govern Gaza, and it is something neither the Israeli government nor the Palestinian people would permit.
“It’s a terrible idea,” Friedman told “Rob Schmitt Tonight.” “First of all, Hamas is the far more popular political group in either the West Bank or in Gaza. They have about a 75% approval rating. The PA is down in the very low double digits.
“[The PA is] corrupt. They pay terrorists to kill Jewish people. They have an incentive structure within their government pension plan where the more Jews you kill the higher pension you get.”
The Palestinian Authority has yet to condemn Hamas’ terrorist attack in which more than 1,200 Israelis were massacred and more than 200 taken hostage. The Jerusalem Post reported Sunday the PA deleted a social media post that denied Hamas was responsible. The post from the PA’s Foreign Ministry also claimed Israeli intelligence showed Hamas was not responsible for the deaths at the Nova music festival in southern Israel and it was a ploy used by “the occupation to justify its aggression against Gaza.”
“It’s just a terrible idea, and first off, it’s not going to happen,” Friedman said. “Israel is not going to permit it. The Palestinian people will never permit it because they have no respect at all for [the PA].
“I think [Biden is] placating perhaps his domestic base, but this has no practical application whatsoever.”
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Michael Katz | email@example.com
Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.
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