Egypt wants to see the Palestinian Authority govern Gaza but it is too early to discuss details of arrangements for the future of the strip, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said in Washington on Thursday ahead of a Friday meeting between Arab states’ top diplomats and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Washington has been pushing for Israel’s Arab neighbors to engage in talks on how Gaza will be administered if Israel succeeds in its aim of eliminating Hamas, which has run the enclave since 2005.
Israel launched aerial and ground operations on Gaza after Hamas militants killed 1,200 and took 240 hostages on Oct. 7.
Shoukry, reiterating Arab leaders’ calls for an immediate ceasefire, said governance of Gaza is up to the Palestinian people.
The Palestinian Authority and Palestinian Liberation Organization are the legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people and “should be accorded the ability to govern both the West Bank and Gaza,” Shoukry said during an event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
It was premature to discuss details of Gaza’s future governance since the outcome of Israel’s military campaign was uncertain, he said.
“I think we have to wait and see what is the consequences of this military operation and the conditions that exist in Gaza and then proceed to address the political relationships,” Shoukry added.
Shoukry said the appropriate response from the international community would be to first call for a cessation of hostilities and then seek a political resolution of the conflict, an indirect criticism of Washington’s rejection of calls for a ceasefire.
“I would like to have seen a ceasefire yesterday, actually 60 days ago,” Shoukry said.