US President Joe Biden said on Saturday the Palestinian Authority should ultimately govern the Gaza Strip and the West Bank following the Israel-Hamas war.
“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 said in an opinion article in the Washington Post.
“There must be no forcible displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, no reoccupation, no siege or blockade, and no reduction in territory,” Biden said. He used the op-ed to try to answer the question of what the United States wants for Gaza once the conflict is over. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel must maintain “overall military responsibility” in Gaza “for the foreseeable future”.
Biden also said the United States is prepared to issue visa bans against “extremists” attacking civilians in the West Bank. Violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians living in the Israeli-occupied West Bank has increased since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.
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“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,” Biden said.
The West Bank, home to 3 million Palestinians who live among more than half a million Jewish settlers, has been seething for more than 18 months, drawing growing international concern as violence has escalated after October 7.
Meanwhile, thousands of protesters took part in rallies across France and Britain calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, while hundreds of others turned out again in cities across Europe.
Protests have been held across Europe since the unprecedented October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel unleashed the latest Gaza war.
Several thousand people marched through central Paris in torrential rain behind a banner saying “Halt the massacre in Gaza and West Bank, immediate ceasefire”.
“France must immediately call for a ceasefire so that the guns go silent,” said CGT union secretary general Sophie Binet, one of several union leaders to speak at the rally. The CGT estimated that 60,000 people rallied in the capital and a further 40,000 gathered in dozens of other towns across the country. Agencies