Palestinians Refuse White House Meeting on Humanitarian Issues in Gaza

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas chairs a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee at the Palestinian Authority headquarters / Getty Images


The Palestinian Authority has announced it will not attend a meeting at the White House this week to discuss humanitarian issues in the Gaza Strip.

PLO Executive Committee member Ahmad Majdalani told the Voice of Palestine radio station that the crisis in Gaza is political, not humanitarian, and is the fault of Israel, the Times of Israel reports.

"The United States knows very well that the cause of the tragedy of the Gaza Strip is the unjust Israeli siege, and what is needed is political treatment of this issue," Majdalani said.

Majdalani said the United States' meeting on Gaza was actually part of a plot to "liquidate the Palestinian national project."

Majdalani also said that U.S. Middle East special envoy Jason Greenblatt did not have a genuine concern for humanitarian issues in Gaza.

Control of Gaza, rather than resting with the Palestinian Authority, has been primarily held by the terrorist group Hamas in recent years. The humanitarian situation has particularly deteriorated since 2007 when Hamas took control, the Times reports.

The humanitarian situation in Gaza has been deteriorating for years and sharply declined after the Hamas terror group took charge of the Strip, ousting the Palestinian Authority.

Israel and Egypt imposed a tight blockade on Gaza to prevent Hamas from importing weapons and material that could be used to carry out attacks or build fortifications and tunnels. Israel and the US also accuse Hamas of diverting millions in aid money to use for arms.

In recent months the Palestinian Authority has also withheld funding for electricity supplied to the Strip in an attempt to press Hamas toward reconciliation.

The culmination of all these have left Gaza on the verge of "full collapse," according to the UN.

Since December, Palestinian officials have refused to meet with the United States. The Trump administration announced in January that it would withhold money from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the UN agency coordinating international aid in Gaza, until Palestinians return to peace talks with Israel.

Jack Heretik

Jack Heretik   Email Jack | Full Bio | RSS
Jack is a Media Analyst for the Washington Free Beacon. He is from Northern Ohio and graduated from the Catholic University of America in 2011. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, Jack was a Production Assistant for EWTN's The World Over and worked on Sen. Bill Cassidy's 2014 campaign.

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