Israel joins Arab states at historic White House meeting

The Trump administration brought together Israel and a number of Arab nations, including those that have no official ties with the Jewish state, to strategize solutions for Gaza’s population.

By: World Israel News Staff

On Tuesday, Israeli representatives met with their counterparts from five Arab countries with whom the Jewish state currently has no formal diplomatic relations to discuss improving the lives of Gaza Strip residents.

While representatives of Egypt and Jordan also attended, the Palestinian Authority boycotted the meeting, refusing to participate in any manner.

“Thank you for putting all tensions aside to work with us,” tweeted President Donald Trump’s Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt. “Everyone left politics at the door and focused on practical solutions.”

“We regret that the Palestinian Authority is not here with us today,” Greenblatt lamented. “This is not about politics. This is about the health, safety and happiness of the people of Gaza, and of all Palestinians, Israelis and Egyptians,” he added.

Among the Arab nations that attended the meeting were Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman. Other critical stakeholders who attended the meeting included United Nations representatives and individuals representing USAID and the Office of the Quartet, bringing together almost two dozen nations and international organizations.

Read  Jared Kushner suggests Israel take in Gazans, but warns against Palestinian state

While the PA opted to sit out the White House meeting, it sent its Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and Intelligence Head Majed Faraj to Gaza on Tuesday. The PA officials were traveling to a wastewater facility inauguration, but instead were attacked in an assassination attempt on their convoy.

The White House gathering follows an emergency meeting of donors in Brussels that Israel recently called in an attempt to generate investments in Gazan infrastructure. Facing a 43.6% unemployment rate and a security and economic blockade, Gazans remain at the mercy of the bitter power struggle for control of the enclave between the Hamas terrorist group and Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction.