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Biden Calls for “Unifying” Gaza and West Bank under One Authority

Gaza and the West Bank should eventually be “reunited” under a new Palestinian Authority, US President Joe Biden wrote in an opinion piece published in the Washington Post on Saturday, as questions are swirling around the future of the region following Israel’s relentless bombardment of Gaza.

“As we strive for peace, Gaza and the West Bank should be reunited under a single governance structure, ultimately under a revitalized Palestinian Authority, as we all work toward a two-state solution,” Biden added.

On the issue of the unpunished assaults by Israeli settlers against Palestinians, Biden vowed to sanction those perpetrating such violence in the occupied West Bank.

“I have been emphatic with Israel’s leaders that extremist violence against Palestinians in the West Bank must stop and that those committing the violence must be held accountable,” he wrote.

In a news conference in Tel Aviv, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu questioned Biden’s idea, saying the Palestinian Authority “in its current form is not capable of receiving responsibility for Gaza.”

Palestinian Pres. Mahmoud Abbas had voiced his readiness to take over the management of the Gaza Strip, besides the West Bank which is already governed by the Palestinian Authority.