The Biden administration is pressuring Abu Mazen to carry out comprehensive reforms in the PA

The Biden administration is exerting pressure on Mahmoud Abbas to implement comprehensive reforms in the Palestinian Authority (PA) as part of its preparations for the post-war situation in the Gaza Strip. Talks between the U.S. and the PA have begun, but progress is slow due to the lack of a clear Israeli stance on the post-war management of the Strip.


Philip Gordon, the national security advisor to Vice President Kamala Harris, recently met with Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. Reports suggest that the meeting was tense, with the U.S. administration urging Abbas to form a new government in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip, focusing on significant reforms, especially in the security sector, to pave the way for general elections.

There are disagreements over the replacement of the current Prime Minister Muhammad Ishtayeh, with the U.S. opposing Abbas’s choice of Muhammad Mostafa due to concerns about corruption.

Ishtayeh stated that the U.S. has been discussing the post-war situation with the PA, emphasizing a preferred outcome where Hamas manages the Gaza Strip and becomes part of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

However, the U.S. and Israel reject Ishtayeh’s stance, given his extreme positions, anti-Israel incitement, and corruption allegations.

The U.S. envisions establishing a temporary local leadership to manage the Strip initially, addressing post-war reconstruction before considering general elections.

Israel opposes the idea of a “renewed PA” governing the Gaza Strip, delaying progress until a clear Israeli position is established.

Prime Minister Netanyahu strongly opposes Mahmoud Abbas ruling the Gaza Strip, citing concerns about terrorism, incitement, and corruption.

The U.S. administration has presented demands to the PA, including halting payments to security prisoners and families of “martyrs,” ending incitement in media, changing the education system curriculum, replacing corrupt individuals, and enhancing transparency.

Plans include training Palestinian security forces with U.S. and British assistance.

Talks are awaiting Israel’s official position, and potential solutions include forming a local council in Gaza with Egyptian army engineering support or deploying Arab or international military forces until the PA restores security control.

The Fatah movement hopes for the release of Marwan Barghouti, a significant figure serving multiple life sentences in an Israeli prison, as part of a prisoner deal to address leadership challenges in the Gaza Strip.

However, both Israel and Mahmoud Abbas oppose this idea, expressing distrust in Barghouti.

In summary, the situation involves complex negotiations and disagreements between the U.S., Israel, and the PA regarding the post-war governance of the Gaza Strip and the necessary reforms in the PA.

Yoni Ben Menachem Senior Middle East Analyst

About Yoni Ben Menachem

Yoni Ben Menachem is a Middle East senior analyst ,a journalist and
the former CEO of the Israel Broadcasting Authority(IBA). He has
decades of experience in written and video journalism. Ben
Menachem’s path in the media world began as a producer for
Japanese television in the Middle East. After that, he held many key
positions in the media The Israeli: CEO of the Israel Broadcasting
Authority, director of “Kol Israel” Radio, reporter on West Bank and
Gaza Strip affairs, political reporter and commentator, commentator
on Middle East affairs and editor-in-chief and presenter of the
program “Middle East Magazine”. 

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