Blinken says Israel needs to help Palestinian Authority

AFP , Wednesday 17 Jan 2024

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Wednesday on Israel to help rather than hinder the Palestinian Authority, saying that Israel's long-term security was at stake.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken gestures during his speech at the Annual Meeting of World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024.AP


Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Blinken renewed his call for a "pathway to a Palestinian state" even as Washington backs Israel's war on Gaza.

"You're not going to get the genuine security you need absent that. And, of course, to that end as well, a stronger, reformed Palestinian Authority that can more effectively deliver for its own people has to be part of the equation," Blinken said.

An effective Palestinian Authority can only operate "with the support, with the help, of Israel, not with its active opposition," Blinken said.

"Even the most effective Authority is going to have a lot of trouble if it's got the active opposition of any Israeli government," he said.

The United States has backed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's call to eradicate Hamas, but has called for the Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmud Abbas in the West Bank, gradually to take over control in the Gaza Strip.

In one point of contention, the United States has been pressing Israel to release tax revenue that it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.

Blinken said that the Palestinian Authority was working to address fundamental issues including eliminating corruption and improving transparency, which "they can't on their own deliver without partnership with Israel", according to Blinken.

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