Joe Biden on Saturday called for a future reunification of the West Bank and Gaza Strip under a “revitalized Palestinian Authority” and threatened sanctions against “extremist” settlers who attack Palestinians in the West Bank.
“Gaza and the West Bank should be reunified under the same governing structure, ultimately under a revitalized Palestinian Authority,” once Hamas is ousted from the Palestinian territory it has ruled since 2007, following the ongoing Israeli military operation , writes the American president in a column published by the newspaper Washington Post.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded in a press conference that “the Palestinian Authority in its current form was not capable of taking responsibility for Gaza. »
“We cannot have a civilian authority in Gaza that supports terrorism, encourages terrorism, finances terrorism and teaches terrorism,” he said.
President Mahmoud Abbas, who rules the autonomous West Bank, earlier in November linked the Palestinian Authority’s return to the Gaza Strip to a “political settlement” that also includes the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
“The Gaza Strip is an integral part of the State of Palestine, we will assume all our responsibilities within the framework of a comprehensive political solution for the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip,” Mahmoud Abbas said as he received in Ramallah the US Secretary. State Antony Blinken.
In his column, Joe Biden also threatens to ban visas to “extremists who attack civilians in the West Bank.”
“Extremist violence against Palestinians in the West Bank must stop and those who commit this violence must be held accountable,” he insists.
“A two-state solution is the only way to ensure the long-term security of the Israeli people and the Palestinian people. Today that prospect seems more distant than ever, but the current crisis makes it more necessary than ever,” said the 80-year-old Democrat.
“Getting there will require commitments from Israelis and Palestinians, as well as from the United States and our partners and allies. That work must begin now,” he urges.
“Gaza must never again be used as a base for terrorism. There must be no forced displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, no reoccupation, no siege or blockade, no reduction of the territory,” he enumerates.
The US president also reiterates his opposition to a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.
“As long as Hamas clings to its ideology of destruction, a cease-fire will not be peace. For Hamas members, each cease-fire gives time to replenish rocket stocks, reposition fighters, and resume the massacre by attacking of nine innocent people,” he says.
Retaliatory bombing in the Gaza Strip has been relentless since Hamas carried out an attack of unprecedented scale and violence on Israeli soil on October 7 that left 1,200 people dead, mostly civilians, and kidnapped with other armed groups about 240 people, according to Israeli authorities. .
According to the Hamas Ministry of Health, Israeli attacks have killed at least 12,000 Palestinian civilians, including 5,000 children.
Tensions are also high in the West Bank, a territory occupied since 1967 by Israel, where about 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli settlers and soldiers since October 7, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
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