Plan didn't mention eradicating Hamas or PA education reform

Report: US rejected proposed plan by PA, Arab nations for Palestinian statehood

Proposal said to include 180-day deadline for negotiations, release of all Palestinian prisoners, PA receiving control of West Bank and Gaza; Blinken said to call it unrealistic

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas meets with Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Belgium's Prime Minister Alexander De Croo in Ramallah, West Bank, November 23, 2023. (Alaa Badarneh/ Pool via AP)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas meets with Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Belgium's Prime Minister Alexander De Croo in Ramallah, West Bank, November 23, 2023. (Alaa Badarneh/ Pool via AP)

The US recently rejected a proposed plan for establishing a Palestinian state presented to Washington by five Arab countries and the Palestinian Authority, exacerbating a diplomatic rift between the sides, according to a Friday report.

Channel 12 said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told his Arab counterparts that the plan — drafted by the PA with Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates — was unrealistic.

The report said the US provided a detailed response to the proposal, effectively rejecting it entirely. Of particular concern to the US was that the plan did not mention the eradication of Hamas, rooting out corruption in the Palestinian Authority or reform of the Palestinian education system, which has been known to incite antisemitism and hatred of Israel.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was reportedly so incensed by the American rejection of the plan that he refused to meet with Blinken when the latter visited Israel this week.

Channel 12 said Abbas also prepared a response to the American reservations, but did not send it out as the Arab countries urged him not to bicker with the US.

According to the network, the proposals in the plan included:

  • Immediate international and UN recognition of a Palestinian state.
  • Provision of full protection and funding to Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA.
  • A complete withdrawal of the IDF from Gaza within three weeks of the inception of a ceasefire.
  • Full transfer of governmental authority in Gaza to the Palestinian Authority and the entry of PA forces into Gaza with international assistance.
  • International assistance in building security mechanisms for the Palestinian Authority along with the installment of UN peacekeeping forces in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem based on a resolution to be passed by the UN Security Council.
  • Full implementation of all previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, including deals struck in recent years in Aqaba and Sharm el-Sheikh.
  • Launching negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, to be completed within 180 days, in tandem with the release of all Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.
  • The transfer of Israeli authority at Gaza and West Bank border crossings to the Palestinian Authority with international supervision.
  • The convening of an international donor conference to raise funds for the Palestinian Authority.
  • The establishment of a regional security plan together with the US to ensure the security of Israel and the eventual Palestinian state.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas shake hands during their meeting in the West Bank town of Ramallah, February 7, 2024. (AP Photo/ Mark Schiefelbein, Pool)

Since the signing of the Oslo Accords three decades ago, the Palestinian Authority has administered parts of the West Bank. Abbas, who has not faced an election in over two decades, introduced in March a revamped cabinet meant to signal to the US that efforts are being made to mitigate corruption in the authority.

The United States sees the Palestinian Authority as a key part of its preferred plans for post-war Gaza, on a pathway to a two-state solution with Israel.

But the PA has little popular support or legitimacy among Palestinians, with many viewing it as a subcontractor to Israel because of their security cooperation in the West Bank.

The Islamic terror group Hamas, a rival of Abbas, drove his security forces from Gaza in a 2007 takeover. The United States wants a reformed Palestinian Authority to return and administer Gaza, an idea that has been rejected by both Israel and Hamas.

A major challenge for the Palestinian Authority, should it be given a role in administering Gaza, will be reconstruction.

Nearly six months of war have destroyed critical infrastructure including hospitals, schools and homes as well as roads, sewage systems and the electrical grid.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry says more than 34,000 people in the Strip have been killed in the fighting so far, a figure that cannot be independently verified and does not differentiate between civilians and combatants, of which the IDF says there are over 13,000.

The fighting has displaced over 80 percent of Gaza’s population and pushed hundreds of thousands to the brink of famine, the UN and international aid agencies say.

The war began after Hamas-led terrorists stormed across southern Israel on October 7 under the cover of thousands of rockets, killing some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking 252 hostages.

Israel has said it will maintain open-ended security control over Gaza and partner with Palestinians who are not affiliated with the Palestinian Authority or Hamas. It’s unclear who in Gaza would be willing to take on such a role.

A Palestinian man fixes tin sheets used for temporary sheltering on a road lined with destroyed buildings in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on May 2, 2024. (AFP)

Hamas has warned Palestinians in Gaza against cooperating with Israel to administer the territory, saying anyone who does will be treated as a collaborator, which is understood as a death threat.

It has also rejected the formation of a new Palestinian government as illegitimate, calling instead for all Palestinian factions, including Fatah, to form a power-sharing government ahead of national elections.

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