Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid said on Thursday that the Palestinian Authority should be given control over the Gaza Strip after Hamas is destroyed.
“I think in the end the best thing is that the Palestinian Authority goes back into Gaza,” Lapid told The Times of Israel.
“It’s not ideal, and if you ask me what the [Israeli military’s] exit strategy should be, it should be helping the international community help [the P.A. return to power in Gaza,]” he added.
Hamas ousted the Mahmoud Abbas-led P.A. from Gaza in a 2007 internecine war.
“This is the way things were before; the Palestinian Authority still has about 20,000 people working for them in Gaza, and a lot of the facilities and civil organizations there are run by them remotely,” said Lapid on Thursday.
Hours after Hamas terrorists attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing more than 1,400 people and wounding thousands, the P.A. released a statement blaming Israel for the attacks. Five days later, Abbas condemned violence against civilians “on both sides.”
On Oct. 15, reportedly under pressure from U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Abbas released a statement noting that “Hamas’s policy and actions do not represent the Palestinian people.”
Hours later, Abbas amended the statement, removing the word “Hamas” and instead referred to “any other organization.”
After Hamas’s cross-border invasion, Abbas chaired an “emergency” leadership meeting in Ramallah.
He “gave instructions to provide protection for the Palestinian people, stressing the right of the Palestinian people to defend themselves against the terrorism of settlers and the occupation forces,” according to the Palestinian Wafa news agency.
“He also gave directions to provide all that is necessary to bolster the resilience and steadfastness of the Palestinian people in facing the crimes committed by the Israeli occupation and settler gangs,” added the report.
Amid the carnage in Jewish communities near the Gaza border, the P.A. Foreign Ministry released a statement blaming Israel for Hamas terror.
“Israel’s disavowal of the signed agreements and noncompliance with international legitimacy resolutions led to the destruction of the peace process and the absence of a solution to the Palestinian issue after 75 years of suffering and displacement,” said the ministry.
“The continuation of the policy of double standards, the silence of the international community regarding the criminal and racist practices of the Israeli occupation forces against the Palestinian people, and the continuation of the injustice and oppression that the Palestinian people endure is the reason behind the explosive situation and the absence of peace and security in the region,” it continued.
The Palestinian Authority will pay nearly $3 million to the families of slain Hamas terrorists who slaughtered civilians in Gaza border communities on Oct. 7, according to Palestinian Media Watch.
Under P.A. law, every Palestinian terrorist who is killed attacking Israelis is classified as a “martyr” and the family is rewarded with a 6,000 shekel ($1,511) grant and a monthly stipend of 1,400 shekel ($353) for life.
The Israel-based NGO and media watchdog estimates that each family will receive 7,400 shekels for the first month—11.1 million shekels ($2,789,430) in total to the families of the Hamas terrorists killed in the attack that began on Oct. 7.