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Business News/ News / World/  'International players may assist in interim period', Blinken backs Palestinian Authority's return to Gaza

'International players may assist in interim period', Blinken backs Palestinian Authority's return to Gaza

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken suggests that the Palestinian Authority retake control of Gaza from Hamas with the help of international players.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. (Reuters)Premium
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. (Reuters)

The Palestinian Authority should retake control of the Gaza Strip from Hamas with international players potentially filling a role in the interim, said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken while endorsing the Islamist militant movement that has ruled the impoverished territory since 2007.

Addressing a Senate hearing, Blinken said, “At some point, what would make the most sense would be for an effective and revitalized Palestinian Authority to have governance and ultimately security responsibility for Gaza."

"Whether you can get there in one step is a big question that we have to look at. And if you can't, then there are other temporary arrangements that may involve a number of other countries in the region," he said as quoted by AFP. 

Blinken said it may involve international agencies that would help provide for both security and governance. “There cannot be a reversion of the status quo with Hamas running Gaza."

"We also can't have -- and the Israelis start with this proposition themselves -- Israel running or controlling Gaza," he added.

While Blinken backed Israeli goals against Hamas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long sought to sideline the Palestinian Authority and its president Mahmud Abbas which exercises limited autonomy in parts of the occupied West Bank. 

According to the Ramallah-based health ministry, Blinken on a recent trip to the Middle East met twice with Abbas and voiced appreciation for efforts in the West Bank to preserve calm, which has since deteriorated, with at least 122 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces or settlers since October 7. 

The military said two members of the Israeli forces have been killed in the West Bank over the same period, AFP reported. 

He again repeated that the United States backed the creation of a Palestinian state, a goal bitterly opposed by members of PM Netanyahu's hard-right government.

Israel launched its assault in response to an unprecedented attack by Hamas on October 7 when its militants poured across the Gaza border, killing more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and taking more than 230 hostages, the Israeli authority said. 

Gaza's Hamas-run health ministry says more than 8,500 people have been killed in the Palestinian territory, over 3,500 of them children.


(With AFP inputs)

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Published: 01 Nov 2023, 09:11 AM IST
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