SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 4 March 2024, Monday |

VP Harris to sketch out US vision of post-conflict Gaza at COP

US Vice President Kamala Harris will lay out important American objectives for when the Israel-Hamas conflict ends, emphasizing that the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank should eventually be reunified under a single political structure.

Harris will make a number of appearances at the COP28 climate meeting in Dubai, having been appointed by US President Joe Biden to take his seat at the table while focusing on the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The White House said Harris will carry a message about post-conflict Gaza as the region grapples with the fallout from a war that has upended the Middle East.

“She will emphasize that any post-conflict plan for Gaza must include a clear political horizon for the Palestinian people and ensure that Gaza and the West Bank are reunified under one entity,” a White House official said of her remarks.

The Western-backed Palestinian Authority governs parts of the occupied West Bank. Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007 from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ mainstream Fatah party and has ruled the enclave ever since.

Harris’s role in the administration is coming under increased scrutiny as Biden, 81, runs for a second term. She has been tasked with helping to resolve a series of major challenges, from migration to abortion and voting rights at home. How post-conflict Gaza should realistically be managed is an issue that has confounded regional leaders and Middle East experts.

PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY FUTURE

U.S. officials have discussed bolstering the Palestinian Authority so it can widen its reach to include Gaza but no firm plan has been agreed upon.

Some U.S. officials have privately expressed doubts about the Palestinian Authority’s ability to govern Gaza post-war. Critics has accused the PA of corruption and mismanagement, and polls have shown its credibility low with the Palestinian people.

Harris will meet with regional leaders and consult with them on the latest developments in Gaza, including Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of the United Arab Emirates.

“In her meetings, the vice president will outline our principles for post-conflict Gaza, lay out specific proposals that put Palestinian voices at the center, and build regional support for our efforts,” the White House official said.

In remarks later Saturday, Harris will express the U.S. desire to see a pause in the Israel-Hamas fighting restored in order to extract more hostages out of Gaza and to get a steady flow of humanitarian assistance back in.

“She’ll certainly be making it clear that as we’ve said many times before, that we believe the Palestinian people need a vote and a voice in their future and that they need governance in Gaza that will look after their aspirations and their needs,” White House national security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters in Washington.

Harris previously has carried important messages for Biden while on overseas travel. She told the Munich Security Conference in February that the Biden administration had formally concluded that Russia has committed “crimes against humanity” during its invasion of Ukraine.

    Source:
  • Reuters