Echoing the words of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, EU foreign policy chief says Hamas must give up control of the Gaza Strip.
By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
Federica Mogherini agreed with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas when she said before a meeting of international donors that a Palestinian state was only possible if it contained every one of the areas the PA has demanded from Israel.
“We see it very clearly,” said Mogherini, who serves as High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, claiming that Judea and Samaria, eastern portions of Jerusalem, and Gaza “belong together” under Palestinian control.
“There is no State of Palestine without Gaza, nor with Gaza alone,” Mogherini declared.
She was making a case for continuing the latest reconciliation efforts between the PA and the Hamas terrorist organization before a gathering of the the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), which meets twice a year and handles donor funds for the Palestinians.
The unity agreement signed in Cairo last October seems to be in the greatest danger to date, with Abbas on Monday accusing Hamas of orchestrating last week’s attempted assassination of PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah as he was on his way to inaugurate a wastewater treatment plant in Gaza. Abbas also threatened in his 20-minute speech to stop the flow of money to Gaza if the PA does not get control of the area immediately.
On Tuesday, a senior Fatah official told the Times of Israel that if the crisis between the two competing governments cannot be resolved soon, the Gaza Strip could be declared a “rebel district” for which the PA would not be responsible.
“In a way, it would be like a divorce,” he said, between Palestinian populations in Judea and Samaria and Hamas-controlled Gaza. “We hope that this will not happen and that Hamas will wake up and realize that its policies and actions are very harmful and destructive to the Palestinian people and their national project,” he concluded.
Hamas officials have in turn accused the PA of being responsible for torpedoing the reconciliation efforts, with some even suggesting that the assassination attempt was faked by Ramallah to strengthen support for their taking control of the Strip.
Although acknowledging that the possibility of reconciliation is “fragile,” Mogherini refused to veer from the long-held EU position on either this clash or the wider conflict, stating, “There is – again, I would like to state it – no realistic alternative to the two-state solution and there is no alternative to the return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza.”