The Hill, Nov. 16, 2023
“Jenin’s refugee camps now house multiple terrorist groups, including Hamas. If the Palestinian Authority cannot prevent Hamas from infiltrating its own cities in the West Bank, why would it be any different in Gaza?”
The Oct. 7 terrorist massacre in southern Israel made it all too clear that Hamas must go. But after it is gone, who will take the helm in Gaza?
Secretary of State Antony Blinken commented that Gaza’s administration “must include Palestinian-led governance and Gaza unified with the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority.” Secretary Blinken and the Biden administration should think again.
Over the course of 11 days from May into June 2023, I spent hours in conversation with Palestinian Authority leaders. I had been selected to join a group of 30 undergraduates from Yale and West Point on a trip to Israel and the West Bank, part of the schools’ joint Peace and Dialogue Leadership Initiative. Trips like these offer Palestinian leaders an opportunity to court impressionable, young American students. The presentations from Palestinian Authority officials were as revealing as the living conditions we saw throughout the West Bank. The Palestinian people are being used as pawns by the Palestinian Authority. The U.S. must proceed with caution or risk substituting one corrupt authority with another.
Many Palestinians live in appalling conditions. In Bethlehem, I watched a little girl weave through moving cars to get to school — no crosswalks or traffic lights in sight. Even in areas that seem economically secure, infrastructure is severely lacking. Walking down an alley in Ramallah, I saw plastic tubing cracking along the side of an apartment building, causing precious water to gush onto the dusty road.
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