In the midst of Israel’s assault, people of Gaza still don’t want the PA

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said Israel would govern the security of the Gaza Strip for an “indefinite period” after the ongoing war, in comments that came amid a growing debate over what the besieged strip might look like after the war.

Israel and its biggest ally, the United States, have insisted that Hamas – currently in power in Gaza – cannot be allowed to continue to rule the strip, following its attack on southern Israel on October 7, in which an estimated 1,400 people were killed.

However, Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, called for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip on Sunday and indicated that the PA would be willing to return to the besieged enclave as part of a future political settlement.

“We will fully assume our responsibilities within the framework of a comprehensive political solution that includes all of the [occupied] West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip,” Abbas was quoted as telling United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken by the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.

Blinken was visiting Ramallah, the PA’s seat in the occupied West Bank.

So how do people in Gaza view the prospect of the PA taking power in the besieged Strip 17 years after Hamas won legislative elections, and then a military battle against Fatah, the political arm of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), chaired by Abbas?

Mohamed, 25

I don’t think the PA taking over Gaza is a solution people will accept or support. I reject it because I can see what’s happening in the West Bank, which is under PA’s control.

There are always raids into so many towns and people are always arrested in these areas considered under the PA’s rule.

They don’t change anything on the ground. This is why its rule will not benefit Gaza in any way. I would be for a national unity government [including Hamas, Fatah and other Palestinian factions].

Kamal, 53

The PA will not protect Gaza because it participated in its siege repeatedly and oppressed the people of Gaza, all because of its dispute with Hamas. We don’t believe it can be fair in Gaza.

The president always gives these speeches talking about Gaza and his responsibility towards it, but he doesn’t do what he says.

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