World Bulletin/News Desk
The US wants to see Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority restored to ruling Gaza after the current conflict is over, and will make efforts to bring this about, American Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro indicated Saturday night, Times of Israel reported.
In an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 news, Shapiro was asked about the unity government formed last month by Abbas’s Fatah faction and Hamas. He did not reply directly and instead noted that Abbas was currently in close contact with Egypt, trying to broker a ceasefire to end the Hamas-Israel hostilities. Then he said, “At the end of this conflict, we’ll seek to help the moderate elements among the Palestinians to become stronger in Gaza,” referring to Abbas’s PA. “They might be able to run Gaza more effectively than Hamas, a terror organization.”
According to the report, Shapiro denied that the US had given support to any ceasefire initiative except the Egyptian one, saying that its contacts with all its friends in the region had been designed to encourage others to back the Egyptian plan.
Meanwhile, Haaretz reported that Israeli, Palestinians and American officials noted that a critical mass of international and Arab support was forming around considering the Egyptian initiative the only viable one.
A keystone of Egyptian efforts is the return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza, the report states, for the first time since the 2007 takeover by Hamas. A senior Palestinian official said that Egypt told Hamas that any opening of the Rafah crossing would entail the return of Abu Mazen’s presidential guard there, with no Hamas men present.
Israel and the Authority accepted this proposal, but Hamas rejected it.
Meanwhile, Israel and the U.S wary of Qatari initiative, supported by Turkey. It includes the acceptance of multiple demands made by Hamas, such as a lifting of the naval blockade of Gaza, the construction of a harbor and an airport. A key part of this proposal was that Hamas retain control of Gaza and official recognition of its sovereignty over the Strip.
On Friday Abbas went to Turkey to meet Prime Minister Erdogan and President Gul, urging them to back the Egyptian proposal. He is also going to Bahrain and Qatar, where he will try to get its leader to pressure Meshal to accept the Egyptian deal. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are backing his efforts.Last Mod: 20 Temmuz 2014, 11:59