Following the Israel-Hamas war, U.S. President Joe Biden stated that the Palestinian Authority should ultimately govern the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, emphasizing the need for a single governance structure under a revitalized Palestinian Authority as part of the effort to achieve a two-state solution. Biden’s stance, outlined in an opinion article for the Washington Post, stressed the importance of preventing forcible displacement of Palestinians, reoccupation, siege, blockade, or reduction in territory.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed reservations regarding Biden’s proposal for the Palestinian Authority to assume governance of Gaza, citing concerns about the PA’s current capability to handle the responsibility. Netanyahu has previously emphasized Israel’s need to maintain “overall military responsibility” in Gaza for the foreseeable future.
The Palestinian Authority previously managed both the West Bank and Gaza but lost control of the latter to Hamas in 2007 after a brief civil war. Biden also announced that the United States is prepared to impose visa bans on “extremists” who attack civilians in the West Bank, addressing the escalating violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.
President Mahmoud Abbas urged Biden to pressure Israel to halt violence against Palestinians, highlighting the urgent need to intervene to stop attacks by Israeli forces and terrorism by settlers in the West Bank and Jerusalem, which could lead to an imminent explosion. The West Bank, home to 3 million Palestinians living alongside over half a million Jewish settlers, has been a source of growing international concern due to escalating violence since Oct. 7.
(Reporting by Steve Holland and Eric Beech; Additional reporting by Emily Rose; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Daniel Wallis)